Thu Apr 28 09:31pm EDT
Pros: Gets off the snap with impressive speed (especially for his size at 6-foot-5, 268 pounds) and employs the full array of pass-rush moves — can use a rip move while getting outside a tackle, move quickly into his arc, get low on his turn, and close to the quarterback. Relentless once he gets started, especially with his explosiveness. Good upper-body strength allows him to avoid being ridden out of plays — pass or run — by stronger blockers. Closes inside the tackle pretty well, though he needs to develop better footwork and angle fakes. Can bull-rush the strongest blockers at times.
In short-yardage situations, Quinn has a good head for avoiding overpursuit, instead watching the quarterback and potentially either stopping a sneak or batting a ball down. He's not a one-trick pony. When Quinn loops inside at a wider angle, he overwhelms weaker guards and centers, easily splitting double-teams. In a short area, he can also blast by the guard's outside shoulder. Slides off blockers quickly to make run tackles in the backfield; it's very important to note that Quinn can do more than just pressure the quarterback.
Cons: When he's playing wide off the snap, it's easy to box him out because Quinn doesn't re-set in short spaces the way the best pass rushers do. He seems intent on staying on one track. Doesn't have a spin move per se, though again, the potential is there for Quinn to mess people up if he develops one.
What he brings to the team: Many of the technique gaps Quinn presented in 2009 most likely would have been solved in 2010, had he been able to play and receive coaching. Now, the questions surrounding his NFL potential are twofold: it's not only about how he looks more than a year past his last gameday snaps, but also whether he's developed any new moves that he can show off in Indianapolis and at his pro day.
We all have opinions about a system that makes millions of dollars off the efforts of its athletes and can end a collegiate career after a kid accepts $5,000 in gifts, but Robert Quinn(notes) can't worry about that. He's got to prove that he's not just the player people saw in 2008 and 2009, but has developed in a year of working out away from the day-to-day discipline players have in a team setting. If he can do that, Quinn could very well be one of the top ends in the game over time.
Is it the right pick? To be blunt, it's a ridiculous steal, and every team in the NFC West just thought long and hard about their offensive tackle situation. Putting Chris Long(notes) and Robert Quinn alongside each other might just be illegal.
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