Quoting an Eminem lyric in a Detroit sports article can be a bit mundane at these. “Been there, done that” would be the best way to describe it, right? Despite that, one of them paints a perfect picture of how Brad Holmes must approach Thursday night’s draft. And that lyric is from none other than “Lose Yourself” when Eminem raps:
“You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow. The opportunity comes once in a lifetime.”
Thursday night is Brad Holmes’ “8-Mile” moment.
He has one shot at making an excellent first impression with Detroit Lions fans. See, Holmes’ transactions so far have been good. The moves he and the Lions’ front office made so far were competent, fiscally responsible, and revealing. It was a glimpse of the future. It’s something that Lions fans can sink their teeth in.
So far, they’ve given fans something they desired for a long time. They’ve provided hope.
However, let’s be honest.
As great as the recent moves made by the Lions are, the real coming-out party for the new regime is Thursday night. Fans, analysts, and media pundits generally judge a new front office on one thing.
And that’s on how they operate their first draft.
If a recent (and local) example is needed, look at Detroit Pistons’ GM Troy Weaver.
The Detroit Pistons are currently going through a “restoring” of the franchise. And Weaver came out the gate making excellent moves. One of those moves was poaching talent from the Denver Nuggets, signing Jerami Grant and Mason Plumlee to fiscally responsible deals. Regardless of Weaver’s signings, his first draft as a GM is his current calling card.
Why? Well, it’s because he completely crushed it.
The verdict is still out on whether Killian Hayes will be a productive Detroit Piston. Despite his struggles, Weaver nailed his two other first-round picks. Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart have proved to be quality additions to the Pistons’ roster. Stewart so far is looking like a baby Ben Wallace in the making. And Bey’s production this season places him among the top rookies in the league.
Weaver, so far, has earned the respect and trust of the Pistons fanbase, and it’s because of that draft.
That’s what Holmes will need to do Thursday night.
He needs to score big with the 7th overall pick. To do that, Penei Sewell, Kyle Pitts, or Ja’Marr Chase must fall to Detroit. Either one of those three, especially Pitts, are no-brainers. You draft them and don’t think twice.
Outside of that, the sensible move would be to trade down.
And even if they are available, still explore the option of trading down. If the Lions moved back several spots in the first round and acquired valuable future picks, that’s also another impressive scenario. It would signal that “SOL” or “Same Ole’ Lions” as we know could be coming to an end.
However, if Brad Holmes and the Detroit Lions try to be the “smartest person in the room” and reach by drafting a talent too early, expect mutiny in every Facebook fan group, every blog, and all social media outlets.