Not that he would say anything otherwise publicly, but Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes conveyed positive thoughts about Jalen Carter’s pre-draft visit.
Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes closed his opening statement to his pre-draft press conference on Thursday on a fairly humorous note, but with a grain of truth.
No NFL general manager is going to say anything especially revealing or definitive right now, a week out from the draft. The Lions in particular shouldn’t and won’t be married to any one approach, with four picks in the first two rounds and all options on the table.
Anything Holmes said on Thursday was going to solicit some reaction. In the case of Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter, who was in for his pre-draft visit on Monday, anything Holmes said was going to likely invite overreaction.
Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell have been sure to note the Lions would do their own evaluation of Carter, good, bad or ugly after a rough pre-draft process for him.
Lions general manager Brad Holmes conveys some positive feelings about Jalen Carter
Via ESPN’s Eric Woodyard, Holmes talked about Carter’s pre-draft visit.
"He came in and he did a nice job. Again, it’s always case by case. He came in, we enjoyed our time with him, he did a nice job,” Holmes said of Carter’s recent visit. “I’ll say even after he left his visit, I felt better about him.”"
Even as honest as he always is, Holmes was not going to say anything negative about Carter or how the visit went. Carter could have showed up late, not been cordial to lesser people in the building, or whatever, and Holmes would not have said it with a microphone nearby.
Kyle Meinke of MLive noted how that 40-some word response about Carter was Holmes’ shortest response to any draft-related question during his 35-minute press conference. That can be taken however someone wants to take it, but Meinke also noted how Holmes was “uncharacteristically brusque” when talking about Carter.
Carter’s alleged role in a car accident that killed a Georgia teammate and a football staffer, and struggling through his Pro Day after apparently showing up heavier than he was at the Combine, has hurt his draft stock. Further reports have suggested Carter had to be pushed by teammates in practice, and former NFL general manager Rick Spielman had a pointed comment about Carter recently.
With any questions about his work ethic being out there, exaggerated or not, Carter does not fit the template the Lions have used in Holmes’ first two drafts as general manager. So it feels unlikely they’ll take him at No. 6 if he’s available, and Holmes’ relative lack of words on Thursday may have said it all.