ALLEN PARK, MI – In a move that has left many in the football world scratching their heads, Detroit Lions General Manager Brad Holmes made the bold decision to defy conventional wisdom and the opinions of the analytics crowd. The Lions selected running back Jahmyr Gibbs and linebacker Jack Campbell in the first round of Thursday’s NFL Draft, picking players at positions that have been devalued in recent years. Holmes firmly believes in the value these players will bring to the Lions.

Jahmyr Gibbs: A Versatile Running Back

With the No. 12 pick, the Lions chose Jahmyr Gibbs, a multi-talented running back from Alabama. A versatile player, Gibbs has shown the ability to be a game-changer both as a runner and as a receiver out of the backfield. Despite the skepticism from the analytics community, Holmes is confident that Gibbs will excel on the field and make a significant impact for the Detroit Lions.

At the press conference, Holmes stated, “Jahmyr is a special talent who can change the game in multiple ways. We believe he’ll be a dynamic playmaker for our team, and we’re thrilled to have him on board.”

Jack Campbell: A Playmaking Linebacker

Following the Gibbs selection, the Lions continued to raise eyebrows by choosing Iowa’s playmaking linebacker, Jack Campbell, at No. 18. Campbell is known for his exceptional instincts and ability to make plays all over the field, as well as his leadership qualities. Holmes sees great potential in Campbell, and he believes the linebacker will be a key component of the Lions’ defense moving forward.

“Jack is a natural-born leader and a force to be reckoned with on the field,” Holmes said during the press conference. “He’s exactly the kind of player we want in our organization, and we couldn’t be happier to have him.”

Holmes’ Draft Success

Since his appointment as General Manager 27 months ago, Brad Holmes has shown an extraordinary eye for talent, consistently making successful draft day decisions. His previous picks, such as Amon-Ra St. Brown, James Houston, Penei Sewell, and Aidan Hutchinson, have all proven to be valuable additions to the Lions’ roster. Given his track record, there is reason to trust Holmes’ strategy and his willingness to make unconventional choices.

The Lions’ Decision Making

In the lead-up to selecting Gibbs, the Detroit Lions traded down from their original No. 6 pick, ultimately choosing the running back at No. 12. Gibbs himself was surprised by the decision, having expected to be chosen in the 20s. However, Holmes had good reason to believe that Gibbs would have been taken by the New York Jets at No. 15 had the Lions not selected him.

Similarly, the selection of Campbell was made earlier than many expected. Holmes admitted that the Lions likely could have traded down from No. 18 but did not want to risk losing the talented linebacker.

Dismissing Analytics

Brad Holmes has been clear about his respect for those who create mock drafts and the value of analytics in the draft process. However, he has consistently shown that he is more focused on the impact that players like Gibbs and Campbell can bring to the team. Holmes argues that a player’s fit with a team is more important than their position in the draft, as it directly impacts their performance on the field.

At the press conference, Holmes addressed the criticism, saying, “We understand the importance of analytics, but at the end of the day, it’s about finding the right players for our team. We believe Jahmyr and Jack are exactly what we need to take our team to the next level, and their fit with our organization is crucial.”

Holmes’ Confidence in the Picks

Following the draft, Holmes expressed his excitement about the choices the Lions made and emphasized that both Gibbs and Campbell are highly rated players who fit the team’s culture and vision. “We know that these picks may not be what everyone expected,” Holmes said, “but we believe in these players and their ability to contribute to our organization. We’re excited about what they bring to the table.”

By going against the grain and choosing players at devalued positions, the Lions are taking a calculated risk. If these picks prove successful, they will be a testament to Holmes’ vision and ability to build a competitive team.

Day 1 Conclusion

Holmes concluded the press conference with a statement of confidence, saying. “We trust our process and our evaluations, and we’re committed to building a winning culture here in Detroit. Jahmyr and Jack are key pieces of that puzzle, and we can’t wait to see them make an impact on the field.”

The success or failure of these draft choices will undoubtedly be a topic of discussion for years. As the Lions look to build a competitive team and return to prominence, the bold decisions made by Brad Holmes will be under the microscope. Regardless of the outcome, Holmes’ willingness to defy conventional wisdom and prioritize player fit over draft position has undoubtedly set the stage for an exciting new era in Detroit.


For more from our Detroit Lions beat writer, Matt Broder, check him out on Twitter here: @mattbro21

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By Published On: April 28th, 2023Categories: Detroit Lions, NFL

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