Brad Holmes’ work as Lions general manager deserves praise, but a couple analysts from The Athletic have gone a little further.
Through two offseasons, it’s hard to find a lot of fault with what Brad Holmes as done as Detroit Lions general manager. A little more aggressiveness in free agency this offseason, or simply a willingness to not just run in back at some spots (backup quarterbacks), might have been nice. But what was a tough rebuild the first offseason has light at the end of the tunnel now.
Nate Tice and Robert Mays of The Athletic, on “The Athletic Football Show” podcast, recently talked about the top-10 general managers they’d use to build an NFL roster. Mays was sure to outline why it wasn’t just a generic top-10 ranking. (h/t to Pride of Detroit for the quote here, and all quotes going forward).
"This is not a power ranking of the jobs that these guys have done recently or in their careers,” Mays explained. “This is, if you were starting a team from scratch right now—every player in the league is a free agent, we’re starting from square one—who would you want to oversee your team.”"
Since starting from “scratch” or “square one” is what Holmes did, it’s not too big a surprise he made Tice’s list. At No. 10, yes, but on the list and not ignored simply because he’s the Lions’ general manager undertaking another rebuild.
The Lions’ segment begins around the 35:30 mark of the show link posted above and here.
Brad Holmes regarded as top-10 team-building GM in the NFL
Tice is particularly impressed with the patient approach Holmes has had, mixed with the bit of aggression to trade up Jameson Williams.
"They have not rushed to anything,” Tice said. “They boosted the offensive line with (Penei) Sewell last year. They didn’t go, ‘Oh, we need to get a wide receiver now.’ They stayed patient with all of these moves. Even though they moved up back into the first round to get Jameson Williams….I thought that was a nice move, and you’re not going to get a Jameson Williams-type in every draft, especially for a team that needed team speed.”"
Tice also talked about the marriage between Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell, as Holmes finds players that fit the Lions’ culture.
Mays circled back to pump the brakes on all the Lions’ positivity that has been rampant out there, with Tice saying “Six wins is a good year.” But otherwise the duo praised what’s going on in Detroit right now, led by Holmes’ approach as general manager.