Brad Holmes says he and Dan Campbell were 'lone wolves' on 2023 draft pick


One of biggest keys to the Detroit Lions' recent rise is the alignment between general manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell. Of course their predecessors were also very well-aligned, and that didn't work out very well.

So it's also important to value the right things in roster construction, and to have the head coach and general manager aligned on those things. Which isn't to say there are never disagreements, but from a distance it feels like strong disagreements between Holmes and Campbell are are.

During his pre-draft presser on Thursday morning, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Holmes addressed the value of "lone wolves" in the draft evaluation process.

"It takes work to go against the grain. It takes a lot of work. And that’s why I always have a lot of respect for the lone wolf. When we’re in there and everybody’s saying, 'Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.' And it’s some obvious prospect, it’s that one person in that room that’s like, 'I don’t, um-um'..."

Brad Holmes says he and Dan Campbell were the 'lone wolves' on Lions' 2023 draft pick

Holmes added how he and Campbell were the proverbial "lone wolves" on a player the Lions took in the 2023 draft.

"Me and Dan, we were the 'lone wolf' on a player we took last year, and it worked out...We loved the player, the rest of the group was like, no, get this guy, at the same position."

Of course Holmes would not name the player when asked in a follow-up. But it's a narrow list of candidates. Sam LaPorta? Jack Campbell? Brian Branch? Jahmyr Gibbs?

The best guess is Gibbs. The Lions were clearly among the teams who liked him better than Bijan Robinson, the No. 1 running back prospect in last year's draft class for a lot of people. So it stands to reason the rest of the draft room advocated for Robinson, while Holmes and Campbell liked Gibbs. The Lions moved down from No. 6 overall to No. 12, and took Gibbs.

Holmes likes input from "lone wolves" to give him a different perspective, or make him go back and look at things again. But he and Campbell will be the final authority on who the Lions draft, and in this particular case (Gibbs over Robinson, presumably) the "lone wolves" got their way.


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