For those unfamiliar with “QIB”, it stands for “Quinn Influenced Benchmark”. QIB is a set of physical benchmarks that I have identified as important to Lions general manager Bob Quinn. These parameters are determined by information I have collected from Quinn’s 15 years in New England and his first year in Detroit.
Once patterns in measurable data are identified, I use that information to determined which players fit that physical profile. Which benchmarks are used and what that benchmark is, varies for each position group. Some groups have one identifiable trait, while other have as many as four.
For Cornerbacks/Safeties, the QIBs are:
3-cone drill = 6.92/6.95 and under
Vertical Jump = 34.5 minimum
Short Shuttle = 4.21/4.24 and under
Bench Press = 14/17 minimum
While there are four QIBs for this group, the most influential is the 3-cone drill numbers and that will be the focus in this section.
Free Agents Cornerbacks
While there will be plenty of appealing cornerbacks in this years free agency, finding one that will be an upgrade to Nevin Lawson at a reasonable price will be challenging.
The obvious first choice will be New Englands Logan Ryan (6.69, 3-cone drill) as he was a player who Quinn will be familiar with and he fits the QIB profile. Price will be the sticking point in the Lions pursuit of him.
Cap cost will also be a big issue with several other top players like AJ Bouye (7.06), Trumaine Johsnon (7.2), Stephon Gilmore (6.61), and Darius Butler (6.92). All would be great additions, but with Detroit already paying Darius Slay $12 million a year, it will be hard to justify spending similar type money on another corner.
A guy I was hoping to see in Detroit last season was Leon Hall (6.5). I see Hall as a Anquan Boldin-type player in the secondary, a seasoned vet who can play a situational role in a group of young players. Now 32 years old, his 3-cone time isn’t likely what it once was, but his ability to play inside and out is very appealing.
Free Agent Safeties
One of the beautiful things about Glover Quin is his ability to play either safety spot at a high level. He currently occupies the starting free safety role in Detroit, but there are several factors that make me believe they’ll be targeting a safety this offseason.
First, Quin just turned 31 and that is usually the time teams start planning on finding replacements. Second, he is in the final year of his contract. We haven’t seen how Bob Quinn will deal with aging veterans, but New England is typically quick to move on, so there is some cause for concern. Fianlly, even if they do retain Quin beyond 2017, Tavon Wilson is also in a contract year and he may need to be replaced.
Free safeties Eric Berry (6.8) and TJ McDonald (6.89) are players who would fit in well in the Lions defense but neither are likely to end up in Detroit. Kansas City seems determined to keep Berry, as they should because he’s an elite talent. While McDonald will likely have a high price tag and with a suspension looming over a DUI arrest, I doubt Bob Quinn would entertain that cost/value option. If they do want to add a free safety in free agency, a player like DJ Swearinger (6.7) is a player who looks to have his career back on track and is only 25 years old.
If the Lions feel Killebrew isn’t ready for an expanded role or they want to find a strong safety to challenge Wilson for the starting job, there are a few players that can be connected to the Lions despite not fully fitting the QIB.
Tony Jefferson (7.27) is a great scheme fit. While, Lions Director of Player Personnel Kyle O’Brien was a big part of the reason Jacksonville selected Johnathan Cyprien (7.01) in the first round. Finally, Duron Harmon (7.02) has ties to Bob Quinn during his time with the Patroits and will most likely get an interview if he hits the market.