In Thursday’s pre-draft press conference, Detroit Lions Executive VP and General Manager, Brad Holmes, captivated the audience with a bold statement: “I embrace the darkness.”
By this, Holmes conveyed his commitment to exploring every facet of the upcoming NFL draft, delving deep into the process, and leaving no stone unturned. Throughout the press conference, Holmes emphasized the central theme of “depth” in the Lions’ draft approach, touching on topics such as the importance of coaching staff, the potential of the sophomore class, and the unpredictable nature of this year’s draft.
Unpredictable Draft and the Lions’ First-Round Picks
Holmes acknowledged the unpredictability of this year’s draft, particularly concerning the two first-round selections the Lions possess at numbers 6 and 18. The draft order for the top 4-5 quarterbacks is a hot topic, with analysts offering varying opinions on where they might land. While Bryce Young’s draft stock appears stable, the choices made for Anthony Richardson and Will Levis could significantly impact the Lions’ draft strategy.
According to Holmes, the Lions can do “just about anything they want” with their draft picks this year. He emphasized the importance of selecting the best football players with the highest character, regardless of their position on the depth chart. In a passionate moment, Holmes shared his goal of one day putting the Lombardi trophy in the hands of team owner Sheila Hamp.
The Impact of Coaching Staff on Draft Decisions
Holmes praised the team’s coaching staff, acknowledging their importance in developing and teaching young talent once they’re drafted. He highlighted the value of having coaches who were former NFL players, as they can relate to the athletes and help them reach their potential.
The Lions GM also stressed the importance of drafting talented football players before focusing on specific positions, noting the coaching staff’s ability to develop and maximize the potential of these players.
High Expectations for Sophomore Class
Brad Holmes expressed optimism for the team’s sophomore class, including Aidan Hutchinson, Malcolm “Rodrigo” Rodriguez, and James Houston, expecting them to make significant progress in their second year. Their development will play a crucial role in the Lions’ draft strategy, as the team weighs the pros and cons of drafting certain positions in the early rounds.
The Lions’ flexibility in their draft approach means they can pursue a wide range of options, depending on their assessment of the team’s needs and the available talent.
Jameson Williams: A Key Piece for the Future
Holmes also touched upon Jameson Williams, who was drafted in 2022 despite recovering from an ACL injury. Although his participation in the previous season was uncertain, Holmes emphasized that the plan was always to have Williams at full strength by 2023 while taking advantage of his rookie contract’s fifth year. Holmes expressed confidence in Williams’ work ethic and potential impact on the team.
In summary, Brad Holmes and the Detroit Lions are embracing the “darkness” of the draft process by diving deep into the evaluation of college talent, trusting their coaching staff, and maintaining flexibility in their strategy. With high expectations for their sophomore class and a willingness to draft the best available players, the Lions’ future is looking brighter than ever.
For more from the author Matt Broder, check him out on Twitter here: @mattbro21
Tweet: @WoodwoodSports or comment on your favorite social media platform!
Photo Credit: © Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports