The Detroit Lions media and fan base are getting an up close look at just what made Lions General Manager Brad Holmes so valuable to the Los Angeles Rams. Holmes helped build the Rams into an NFC contender through a very good eye for talent and understanding how he wanted the Rams to look. The Detroit Lions are in a full rebuild and Holmes and the rest of the Lions front office have wasted no time in adding some key pieces for the teams future.
As of right now the Detroit Lions have a top five draft, this only after day 2 of the NFL Draft. When was the last time that happened you asked? 1988. Unless you live under a shoe you already know the Detroit Lions drafted offensive tackle Penei Sewell in the first round. A generational talent.
Day two saw Brad Holmes and the rest of the Lions front office adding even more teeth (pun and no pun intended) to the rebuilding Lions roster. With the second round draft pick Brad Holmes and the Lions selected defensive linemen Levi Onwuzurike from the Washington Huskies. In the third round another defensive lineman from N. C. State Alim McNeill also in the third round cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu out of the University of Syracuse.
No skilled players draft in the first 3 rounds by the Lions. I am speechless. In a good way. Meaning that Brad Holmes and Co. are building the Detroit roster the proper way. Lions fans on social media for the most part are happy with the draft thus far. Some are not.
To the fans that are not happy with the Lions draft through round 3, I say this. In a rebuild it is far more important to build the nucleus of the roster than it is to add skill players. Games are one and lost in the trenches. If the offensive line is doing their job then it will generate success. If the defensive line is doing their job it will give the linebackers and secondary a chance to shine thus generating more success.
The Detroit Lions will not win many games in 2021. That is alright. Brad Homes is setting the organization to win in a year or two from now. With a draft like this fans should be excited for the future.
Gone from the Detroit Lions roster is pretty much all the wide receivers from the past few seasons. In with the new. Some players signed during free agency will add much needed speed, but by and large the Detroit Lions need to remake the receiver group from the draft. The Lions currently hold the #7 overall draft pick. A player who in my opinion would go a long way in retooling the downfield attack is former Alabama Crimson Tide receiver DeVonta Smith.
Heisman Trophy Winner DeVonta Smith is not the biggest wide receiver in the 2021 NFL Draft. But that is just fine. He may be among the fastest and also Smith contains some intangibles that may prove to be too much for the Detroit Lions to pass up.
During the COVID shortened college football season, Smith put up some eye popping numbers. Smith’s numbers and talent has made him a top 10 prospect, with 117 receptions for 1,856 yards and a total of 24 touchdowns in 13 games and lead the country in 20+ yard targets in becoming the first wide receiver since Michigan Wolverines, Desmond Howard (1991) in winning the Heisman Trophy.
Standing 6 foot 1 inch, DeVonta Smith is not over imposing. Once the ball is snapped however Smith shows elite skill. Not only did Smith win the Heisman but he was also named the MVP of the Alabama offense.
For a team looking to build a roster and team into a playoff contending franchise, Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes should give drafting DeVonta Smith serious consideration.
Smith can be a game breaking player and give real life to the Detroit Lions passing attack. Sure the Lions have holes aplenty all over the current roster. One draft will not and can not fix that. But for a franchise looking to build a team with speed. DeVonta Smith would be a next to perfect fit.
The Detroit Lions were (and still are for the most part) tight against the salary cap. On Wednesday morning it was announced the team has restructured the contract of presumed starting quarterback Jared Goff. There was some cap relief to the tune of $15. It does however also mean the Lions are tied to Goff longer.
Detroit Lions General Manager, Brad Homes, has stated many times that Jared Goff was THE reason the Lions traded former quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams.
Holmes has had a solid relationship with Goff ever since he spearheaded the Rams drafting him. While it is true the Lions received two-first round draft picks as well as a third round pick, Holmes says Goff was the reason for the trade.
With a base salary of $25.65 million, the Lions converted $20 million of the contract into a signing bonus. So Goff gets all that money up front. While he was going to be the presumed Lions starter this season Jared Goff is now likely to be the Lions starting quarterback for at minimum two seasons and possibly more.
Sure Brad Holmes has said that all draft options were on the table at #7 including a quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft. Now the Lions have even more options. If a quarterback they like is not there they can either draft another position of need or move back and acquire more picks.
The restructured contract allows the Lions to sign their draft class as well as sign any free agent during the season in case of injury. It could be just as Holmes has said, he views Goff as the starting quarterback moving forward.
The real proof will come during the draft. When the Lions draft their first round draft pick all will be revealed.
Some teams tweak their rosters to stave off rebuilding while trying most times in vain for one more trip to the playoffs. Some teams rip the band aid off and get right down to rebuilding. That is where the Detroit Lions are. A down to the studs rebuild. When Lions general manager Brad Holmes re-signed defensive end Romeo Okwara and not wide receiver Kenny Golladay, Holmes effectively moved the Lions into rebuild mode.
Here in my opinion is what Brad Holmes may have been thinking. While it would have been nice to have both Okwara and Golladay back due to salary cap issues that was not in the cards for the Lions.
The Lions defense has needed edge rushers for a while. Romeo Okwara and his 10 quarterback sacks last season fits that bill. Again in my opinion because he can get to the quarterback Holmes put a premium on bringing Okwara back.
NFL pass rushers who are able to sack quarterbacks are not cheap. As Okwara’s 3 year $13 per year contract extension shows. One other factor I believe was critical in Holmes decision is that the Detroit Lions defense was so bad last few seasons that he simply could not afford to let the best player on the defense walk as a free agent and get nothing in return for him.
Make no mistake about it, by re-signing Okwara the Lions defense is not going to suddenly spring to life. It does mean that when his rotation comes up and he is on the field, he gives the Lions a proven weapon. This team is rebuilding and needs any edge it can get.
The easy step to take was re-signing Romeo Okwara. The more difficult part comes by Brad Holmes and the Detroit Lions scouting department putting the right talent around him.
This was the right call for Brad Holmes to make. Kenny Golladay is a very good player and can help any offense in the NFL. But a good, talented young edge rusher does not come along everyday.
Following a 5-11 season that saw the dismissal of general manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia the Detroit Lions are starting over. New Lions GM Brad Holmes and the Lions scouting department are currently hard at work evaluating talent and coming up for a draft day “big board.” The Lions have holes all over the roster and are set to embark on a lengthy rebuild. So who could the franchise target with the #7 pick in the first round? Let’s take a look.
The 2021 NFL Draft is set, Thursday, April 29- May 1. It has been a while since the Detroit Lions have won a playoff game, 1991 to be exact. Brad Holmes is now being charged with changing the narrative that the Detroit Lions can not be a winning franchise.
It is safe to say the Detroit Lions will not be a winning team for at least two seasons and more likely three. That is alright. It is more important that Holmes and company get the draft picks right in order to build a core of players to build around.
In my opinion the Detroit Lions have three position groups that stand out as needing the most attention. In no certain order. Keep in mind that all of the Lions issues and needs will not be fixed in one draft.
Wide Receiver: Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, and Danny Amendola are all going to be gone and need to be replaced. 2020 fifth-rounder Quintez Cephus
is a player who has proven he can be part of the Lions receiving future. Ja’Marr Chase, DeVonta Smith, and Jaylen Waddle are all wide receivers who could and should be there when Detroit picks at #7. Any one of the three would be a big welcome.
2. Linebacker: I will try to be nice here, but the facts are that the linebackers were (and as of right now still are) a hot mess of bad. The Lions linebackers are void of athleticism and energy. There appears to be only one linebacker worthy of a top 10 pick and that player is Penn State’s Micah Parsons. Parsons is by far the most versatile linebacker in this class. Parsons would instantly be the Lions top linebacker if selected.
3. Quarterback: Yes, Jared Goff will be the Detroit Lions starting quarterback this season and perhaps next season. Brad Holmes said he likes the quarterbacks in this years draft. One of Trey Lance, Justin Fields and Zach Wilson, could be there at #7. If Holmes goes quarterback it is because he and the scouting department agree on a player enough to make them the franchise QB.
There you have it. These are the positions and some players who I believe the Detroit Lions are looking into. We will know for sure next month when the 2021 NFL Draft rolls out.
New Detroit Lions General Manager, Brad Holmes has wasted little time in taking an axe to former GM Bob Quinn’s roster. To date Holmes has cut eight players from the Quinn era and traded the franchise quarterback (Matthew Stafford) to the Los Angeles Rams for two-first round draft picks and a third round draft pick as well as Rams starting quarterback Jared Goff. In doing so Holmes is setting the Lions up for future success.
As with any new front office and coaching staff, Brad Holmes is no different. Holmes is looking to put his fingerprints on the Lions roster. A roster filed with slow, aging over paid players. Holmes made it clear he prefers young fast versatile players.
By freeing up the Detroit roster of players that do not and will not fit what the Lions are trying to do, Holmes is setting the Lions up to fail. Yes, I said fail. The team is void of enough impact players to win. That is a good thing. This is a total rebuild.
When any team in any sport rebuilds, high draft picks are critical to future success. By pairing down rosters general managers increase the probability they will net high draft picks, Brad Holmes has done that. Holmes has made it nearly impossible for the Lions to be anywhere but a top three pick in next years NFL draft. Coupled with the Los Angeles Rams first round draft pick in 2022 and 2023.
The popular phrase used by fans and media when a general manager strips a roster of talent is “tanking.” It may sound crude, but the is in essence exactly what is taking place.
Brad Holmes has said he does not like the term rebuild, but he prefers retooling or reshaping. Call it what you will. A new Detroit Lions team and roster will emerge when the dust settles.
While the Detroit Lions are set to be bad (really bad) for the next two years. If Brad Holmes does his job, the Detroit Lions are going to be a good solid team. Like the one Holmes played a key role in with the Rams.
With new Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes brings a new direction for the organization. Also now in the mix is former Detroit Lions player and Lions legend Chris Spielman who is sitting in with Brad Holmes and Shelia For Hamp and others on draft and free agent plans. So here is a look at what Lions will probably do to improve the team.
The Detroit Lions have never been a franchise that has made big splashes in free agency. That trend looks like it will continue. In fact Lions fans should expect that the team will not sign any big name free agents. Look for Holmes to fill roster moves like Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila as well as Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman. Sign cheap players on a short 1-2 year deals.
What should be noted is that Chris Spielman and Brad Holmes and new Lions Head coach Dan Campbell all share similar philosophies. That it is better to build a team through the draft. Once a core group of players has been established then add to the core via free agency.
The Detroit Lions are in my opinion on the right track with the build your team through the draft thought process. So it is more of a, draft, develop process that leads to a younger team that is hopefully more athletic than the current roster able to grow together. There will be lumps along the way to be sure.
The fact that the Detroit Lions actually have an offseason plan is refreshing, on many levels. In years past it felt like they were throwing darts at a dartboard hoping to hit the board. They rarely did.
This is not an overnight fix. It took the Detroit Lions years to put a slow team filled with holes on the field. It will take time to reshape the roster. I have total confidence in Brad Holmes who helped to put a Super Bowl team on the field in Los Angeles with the Rams to build the Lions roster in much the same way.
It is a good sign that owner Ford Hamp , Chris Spielman, Dan Campbell and Brad Holmes are all on the same page. It will do nothing but help the Lions moving forward.
“Please don’t get mad at me if I don’t use the word ‘rebuild,’ if I just continue to pivot toward retool.” Newly crowned Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes recently said. Holmes also said he was going to take time and review the entire Lions roster. Reading between the lines, a full bloated rebuild is about to take place.
During the interview process, Brad Holmes offered very blunt and very honest assessments of the Detroit Lions roster to both Owner Sheila Ford Hamp and team President and CEO Ron Wood. Holmes then offered a bold plan for what he would do if he were offered the GM job. Which he was.
Yet the Detroit Lions are in a badly needed full rebuild. No matter if he is saying it publicly or behind closed doors, Holmes is a smart man who by all accounts is a very good talent evaluator. Given his crash course on the Lions roster he has to know this is not a retool, reshuffling or any other fluffy fan friendly connotation.
This needs to be a total teardown. All the way to the studs rebuild. Yet, Holmes did say there are building blocks on the defense. A defense that finished last in most categories mind you. Which is his correct. The problem is those players/ building blocks are few.
Holmes said the plan is to put the most competitive team possible out on the field in 2021. Did you catch that? Competitive. He wants the Lions to be battling better. He did not say he expects or promise a quick turn around or the Lions to win more games. Just to be more competitive.
The Detroit Lions have the fourth most losses in the NFL since 2018, Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia (both fired during the season) left the roster with a lack of both talent and depth leaving for little choice other than a rebuild.
Holmes did also say he prefers to build through the draft so at this moment it does not sound like he will spend much in free agency. So no matter if it is worded rebuild, retool or reshuffle, major changes are coming to the Detroit Lions.
It has been a couple of busy days for the Detroit Lions. Actually the process of finding and identifying a new general manager and head coach has been around 70 days. The Lions have hired Brad Holmes as general manager and is looking at former Lions tight end Dan Campbell to fill its head coaching vacancy.
The Detroit Lions are starting over again. The team hired Brad Holmes as general manager. Homes had been with the Los Angles Rams and worked as director of college scouting. Homes had been in the Rams organization since 2012.
What kind of players does Holmes like? He gave a peek into his philosophy in identifying players, “When you get to the NFL level, everybody has got ability, Everybody is talented. Everybody is big, strong, athletic, fast, agile. Everybody has that. The separation is the intangibles. So you have to find out what actually drives the player. What level of passion does he have? How much does football mean to him? How hard does he really work? Does he have a mental toughness when things go bad? Can he bounce back? Can he persevere? I used to be so enamored with the physical traits portion of it, at this stage now it’s like, man, if this guy doesn’t have the intangibles or the character, he’s not going to make it.”
The Detroit Lions have reportedly zeroed in on former Lions tight end and current New Orleans Saints tight end and assistant head coach Dan Campbell. Campbell played for the Lions from 2006-2008. Both the NFL Network and Sports Illustrated are reporting the Lions are locked onto Campbell for the head coaching job.
What is Campbell’s coaching philosophy? This is what he said about that matter, “How you play the game, offensively and defensively, it was like identical, It’s about running the football. Your quarterback makes smart decisions. You don’t win or lose with the quarterback. Your defense is balls-to-the-wall, all-out. Those are the games you’re winning because of your defense and you’ve got time of possession with the run game. And then when you throw it, they’re explosive passes.”
So the Detroit Lions are making moves and on paper, they look solid. Not sexy. But sexy does not win football games. Neither does paper.