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I expect many people’s reaction will be to question whether it’s realistic Robert Quinn would drop that far. My response is simple – probably not, but neither is it impossible.
We’ve seen prospects sink before and certainly it will happen again. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility he will drop on April 28th.
Quinn missed the entire 2010 season after receiving $5,600 in agent-related benefits. The Sporting News also reported that Quinn was part of an academic investigation at UNC. Of course he wasn’t the only player involved and it could be argued that the sheer number of prospects listed in both cases raises more questions of the Tar Heels regime’ than necessarily the individuals.
Even so, he has to convince scouts a lack of football for two years (and maybe longer if we witness a lockout) will not have an adverse effect on his talents.
During his senior year at high school, Quinn was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Initially fears were that it could end his career. Thankfully, Quinn made a full recovery and missed no time in college because of the problem. However, the benign tumour may raise some concerns with pro-teams preparing to make a high-end investment early in round one.
He’s listed in the 6-4/6-5 region and is down to weigh anywhere between 255-265lbs. That’s not elite size and may put off a lot of 4-3 teams who would like to use him at right end. His size was sometimes an issue in 2009 in run defense and he has been over powered at times by average (yet bigger) offensive linemen. Although he’s bigger than Von Miller, part of the problem I have with both prospects is the possibility they’ll be targeted and exploited playing against the run. Justin Houston (DE, Georgia), Adrian Clayborn (DE, Iowa) and Aldon Smith (DE, Missouri) are superior in this category.
If you have to take him out of short yardage packages and if you’re really just using him as a pass rush specialist, again that can hit a guy’s stock. Is he a two-down prospect? He also has precious little experience in coverage and isn’t a really instinctive player which may also count against him when the 3-4 teams are on the clock.
While nobody can deny that Quinn has an explosive first step and has the necessary speed to consistently provide a threat off the edge, he isn’t a particularly polished prospect. There isn’t really a great repertoire of pass rush moves on tape and like Justin Houston he seems almost unwilling to switch back inside, instead relying too much on that outside speed. His reactions are often a split second behind when the ball is snapped.
The emergence of other prospects may have an impact. Aldon Smith is capable of playing in most defensive schemes and could be set for a rise after the combine – that is represented in this most recent mock.
There are some of the arguments for why Quinn could fall, but it would be quite a considerable fall to see him last until #25. The lowest I’ve previously had him in my mock drafts was #18 to San Diego. Should he drop into the late teens there’s every chance the Chargers would take him and even if they didn’t – he’d have to make it past Tampa Bay, Kansas City and New Orleans.
For all the negatives I’ve listed above we’re still talking about a potentially explosive pass rusher and they don’t tend to last very long. He’s got a great initial burst and has no problem taking a long angle to the quarterback. Quinn finishes well and unlikes Georgia’s Houston, he plays with a relentless streak.
Despite the off the field concerns linked to his suspension, Quinn is actually a humble and hard working individual who won’t take any attitude into meetings and should complete a full work out at the combine. Dez Bryant’s fall last April was less to do with his absence during the 2009 college season and more to do with his no-show in Indianapolis.
While Quinn has little experience in coverage, the lateral agility and freedom of movement is absolutely there and he has the prototype size for 3-4 rush linebackers.
At #25 the Seahawks would absolutely have to consider drafting Quinn if he fell. Although he may not be able to provide an immediate impact as a LEO rusher, he could be slowly incorporated into the rotation while he continues to develop. The end product could be a dominating edge rusher, allowing the team to abandon their reliance on heavy blitz packages to create sacks and pressure.
Churning out the same mock draft every week is repetitive and really what is the point? The objective for these projections is to create a talking point and to cover all possibilities. A week or two before the draft we can think about really trying to crack the code and make a prediction that might actually hold some validity. Until then it’s all guess work.
Why not look at the possibility that like the Dez Bryant’s and Michael Oher’s out there, someone may fall to Seattle at #25 that is perhaps unexpected?
Will Robert Quinn fall to the Seahawks? As I said earlier – it’s unlikely, but not impossible.