Defensive end Robert Quinn lost his 2010 season after the NCAA judged him to be permanently ineligible for accepting products and services from NFL player agents. Quinn is still expected to be a 1st round pick in the 2011 NFL draft.
Here are some of the pros and cons to drafting Robert Quinn. All stats are courtesy of CBSSports.com and ESPN.com.
Quinn is listed at 6’5″ and 268 pounds. He has been clocked in the 4.6 range. Quinn has outstanding explosiveness and is capable of being the 1st defender moving at the snap of the ball. Quinn can pressure the outside of the pocket easily and is able to chase down a mobile quarterback in the backfield.
Quinn’s explosiveness also serves him well when he’s making a tackle. He coils up and makes a violent hit on the ball carrier. Quinn is recorded as having forced 4 or 8 fumbles during his 2 seasons as a North Carolina Tar Heel depending upon the source.
With the agility to drop into pass coverage, Quinn might be able to play outside linebacker in some 3-4 defensive schemes. He occasionally played some zone coverage in college.
Quinn has significant room for improvement. All of the physical tools are there, but he needs individualized attention and a defensive line coach who can teach him an entire arsenal of pass-rushing moves. With an 11 sack season under his belt in 2009, Quinn could be dominant at the NFL level if he plays up to his potential.
#1. Poor Run Defender
Despite weighing nearly 270 pounds, Quinn is average at best when playing against the run. He’ll frequently attempt to shed a blocker by avoiding them, leaving his assigned gap open. Quinn has decent strength to anchor his gap, but is too often driven out of the running lane by an offensive lineman.
Quinn does have the speed to recover and bring the ball carrier down from behind, but he could be stopping the play for no gain with better technique and more strength.
Quinn showed a startling lack of consistency, even during his best games. While he came up with 11 total sacks during the 2009 season, 6 of them were during games against the Duke Blue Devils and Virginia Cavaliers. Quinn wasn’t able to produce in some of the bigger games that he played against tougher opponents.
Robert Quinn seems to be the 2011 version of Jason Pierre-Paul, the New York Giants’ 2010 1st round draft pick. Both are immensely talented physically, but will need a considerable amount of polish to be considered a complete NFL defensive end. However unlike Pierre-Paul, Quinn will need to adequately explain why he was ruled ineligible by the NCAA or risk dropping in the draft.
Although there seems to be some speculation that Quinn could play outside linebacker in a 3-4 defensive scheme, I think he’s much better suited to be a 4-3 defensive end. Quinn has enough to work on without trying to learn a new position at the same time.
I think Quinn will be taken in the top-10 of the 2011 NFL draft if he can convince franchises and general managers that his ineligibility was youthful immaturity. If they aren’t sold on that, Quinn will likely slide 5 to 15 draft slots.
CBSSports.com Robert Quinn’s Player Profile. January 29th, 2011.
ESPN.com Robert Quinn’s Player Page. January 29th, 2011.