Former general manager for divisional rival defends Detroit Lions 2023 draft

Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manger Rick Spielman speaks to media
Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manger Rick Spielman speaks to media / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

As inherent as his bias might seem to be, former NFL general manager Rick Spielman has defended the Detroit Lions 2023 draft strategy.

Over more than a decade as an NFL general manager, Rick Spielman certainly had plenty of hits and misses in the draft. From an informed perspective though, he could easily join the bandwagon of analysts who questioned the Detroit Lions' strategy during April's draft, especially the first round.

Some of that criticism has softened and faded, not that the Lions care any way. And they surely don't care what anyone like Spielman might still have to say about their draft strategy this year.

But, with a platform to do it, the former general manager recently took to defending the Lions' 2023 draft.

Spielman is a co-host of the "With the First Pick" podcast for CBS Sports, with Ryan Wilson. On an episode posted last week (May 25), he lauded the Lions' 2023 draft.

"I think they have four starters in their first four picks. I think they drafted the future quarterback, once Goff is done, in Hendon Hooker. Then Brodric Martin is an underrated nose tackle.”"

Rick Spielman

Martin felt like a bit of a reach late on Day 2 of the draft, and even he was surprised when the Lions called late in the third round after trading up. But Spielman went a little further to laud the big defensive tackle as a good pick.

"They struggled some versus the run. I think as he grows and learns — he may not be ready Week 1 — but as he develops, I think he’s going to have an impact at the nose tackle position, especially in the run game.”"

Even with some possible bias, Rick Spielman defends Detroit Lions 2023 draft

Spieiman is of course the brother of former Lions linebacker and current team executive Chris Spielman. After he was fired by the Minnesota Vikings in 2022, there was a little bit of an idea he could land in Detroit with some sort of role in the Lions' front office. But he moved into the media with CBS Sports and The 33rd Team instead.

Here's the video of the full exchange between Spielman and Wilson, with Wilson's push back on the praise Spielman offered.

There is possible bias here that could be noted. But if Rick Spielman had criticism for what the Lions did in the 2023 NFL Draft, and chose instead to praise his brother's organization rather than offer it, he wouldn't be doing is current job in a credible fashion. So let's assume the staunch defense here is genuine.

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