The Lions general manager has only had two draft classes play NFL games. But he’s already earned himself a well-respected reputation in those two years.
Hitting on a high first round draft pick doesn’t necessarily make that a great pick. Sometimes that’s the easiest one.
But Brad Holmes has hit on first rounders and late round guys. Something any general manager would envy.
Here are the best three draft picks so far from Brad Holmes as manager of the Lions.
3. Penei Sewell – 2021, 1st Rd, 7th Pick
Sewell is trending towards being an All-Pro player. He was widely regarded as the best offensive tackle in the draft and was taken as such.
Another factor at the time was that left tackle Taylor Decker wasn’t looking too great. A faction of Lions fans even wanted Sewell to just replace Decker on the spot.
But Sewell has looked excellent at right tackle. And when the time is right, he’ll likely move over to the left side.
A small note to mention here is there is a chance that a player picked five spots later will end up better than Sewell – Micah Parsons. Missing out on the talented edge player would be devastating for most teams who had the chance to take him. But with Sewell already playing so well, it is kind of a wash.
2. Kerby Joseph – 2022, 3rd Rd, 97th Pick
The Lions haven’t had a good safety in a long time. I mean an actually good player. I’m not counting any Tracy Walker fanboy hype.
Joseph stepped in his rookie season and accounted for 70 tackles and four interceptions. Three of those were against Aaron Rodgers. The last of which forced him to leave the NFC.
Not much is expected out of a late third round pick. But Joseph was easily one of Detroit’s best defensive players last season. And if he can take that natural step forward heading into 2023 that would be monumental to restoring the roar on defense.
1. Amon-Ra St. Brown – 2021, 4th Rd, 112 Pick
Not much you can say about St. Brown other than the dude has been a beast. 2073 yards and 11 touchdowns in his first two seasons that includes a pro-bowl appearance.
He doesn’t have the physical traits of a Justin Jefferson or D’Andre Hopkins but he has the hands and ability to get open that separates him (no pun intended) from being just a good receiver.
The crazy part is, you also have Jameson Williams gambling away in the parking lot. If that guy can eventually get on the field and do what we all think he’s capable of, you’d have two superstar wide receivers.
Picking a guy where St. Brown was taken and getting this level of production is a GM’s dream. You don’t see this happen very often. And for Holmes to get a guy like this in his first draft says a lot about him.
Pre-reacting to Your Comments
I want to get ahead here and react to what I already know some of you will put in the comments section. Please still feel free to leave us one.
“What about Aidan, he should’ve been DROY.”
He probably should’ve been. But the fact is he was the second pick in the draft. And if the NFL didn’t love watching guys run around in their underwear as much, he probably would’ve been the first pick. Like I said above, sometimes the higher picks are the easiest ones.
“Did this guy even see Rodrigo in Hard Knocks last year?”
I did and it was an entertaining show. I think Malcolm Rodriguez was solid last year. I think his Hard Knocks hype out did his on-field production in the regular season. If you can find a solid rotational contributor in the sixth round that’s great.
But I don’t think he played great enough to be in the top three.
“This list is trash without James Houston”
I need to see more of this from him. Like a whole year’s worth. I know it’s not a popular take but I’m still considering what he did last year as fluky.
He had eight sacks in seven games. Playing very minimal snaps. I have to see him do that again. Hell, even if he had eight sacks in 17 games next year I’d take it. From a 7th round pick? Who wouldn’t.
Look, if Houston turns into Michael Strahan, this would be the greatest pick in NFL draft history. And we should build a statue of Holmes immediately. But I have my doubts that is going to happen and am fairly confident his numbers will come down to earth.