Defensive end Jalen Carter will not be a member of the Detroit Lions.

Quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater and Hendon Hooker might.

That’s the take from General Manager Brad Holmes during his pre-draft press conference Thursday.

For years I’ve attended pre-draft press conferences for the Red Wings, Lions, Tigers and Pistons. You know the GM does not want to leak information that might help other teams. But they want to leak tidbits that might confuse them.

It was the same with Holmes who opened the question and answer period with this ditty.

“With that said I will take questions I won’t answer,” Holmes said.

He drew laughter. I appreciate the man being honest with his quip.


If this were 10 years ago I’d be against the Lions selecting Carter with the sixth pick. If this guy were a bad egg he could destroy the Lions dressing room. The Lions talk a lot about culture and bringing in guys who fit that culture.

Carter does not fit it yet. However, the Lions culture is so strong that the leaders of the pack can get Carter to buy in. Yes, he left the scene of an auto accident. But what’s that got to do with playing for the Lions.

I believe every defense needs a few bad eggs to give teams that edge.

Yes, he was fat and out of shape for his pre-draft work out. That should not take away the terror he caused on the field for the University of Georgia. The last time I checked NFL teams go through conditioning workouts, volunteer camp, non-volunteer workouts, minicamp and preseason camp before the regular season begins.

Carter should be a lean, mean fighting machine by then because of the culture Coach Dan Campbell has created and the men in the room who implement it.

Reading Between the Lines

Reading between the lines, I do not believe Carter is headed here.

“You always want to make sure the culture is upheld,” Holmes said. “These players have to fit here. It’s not like we have to chase this player. I’ve always said it is case by case. You gotta dive deep.”

The Lions have done a deep, deep dive on Carter. They even spoke to a former teammate. Campbell said they found interesting information on Carter, but would only say that information “was interesting.”

You can read into that any way you want. My read? Campbell discovered some things that made his skin crawl, but he does not want to publically rip the kid.

Holmes also said he would not bring in a player Campbell does not want or one that owner Sheila Hamp would feel uncomfortable about. I find it hard that Carter would get a 3-0 vote from Campbell, Holmes and Hamp if his name came across the board for the Lions to draft.

“He (Jalen Carter) came in and did a nice job,” Holmes said. “Yeah. Yeah. Again it’s always case by case. He came in. We spent time with him. He did a nice job.”

That is hardly a ringing endorsement. Once, again the Lions do not want to trash the kid.


For more from the author Terry Foster, check him out on Twitter here: @terryfosterdet

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By Published On: April 21st, 2023Categories: Detroit Lions, NFL

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