Last year, I thought Holmes did a fine job in his first draft with the organization and the first draft as an NFL executive, but he’s upped the ante in 2022. In year one, Holmes inherited a bleak roster and really began to transform it from day one.
A year ago, Holmes added the likes of Penei Sewell, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Alim McNeill, Ifeatu Melifonwu, Derrick Barnes, and Levi Onwuzurike.
The jury is still out on the latter three, but all seem like they will make some type of positive contribution on the field in one way or another. It’s Onquzurike, a second-round pick that I am most disappointed in out of last year’s draft class, but there is still time for the second-year defensive lineman to right the ship.
Over the weekend, Brad Holmes once again added a plethora of young talent to a Detroit Lions roster with many holes.
The Detroit Lions lucked out when star edge-rusher Aidan Hutchinson fell into their lap at no. 2, with the Jacksonville Jaguars preferring what might be in Travon Walker first overall rather than a more polished Hutchinson.
This is just what the doctor ordered for the Detroit Lions.
The organization wisely parted ways with veteran and often injured Trey Flowers and has a glaring need at the defensive end position, and no one fits the mold of a Dan Campbell-type player quite like Hutchinson. The Michigan defensive end is coming off a stellar season, leading the Wolverines to the College Football Playoff while recording a school high 14 sacks and 74 quarterback pressures.
Hutchinson is also a freak athlete, as seen here courtesy of Kent Lee Platte’s RAS metric.
Just when many of us were content waiting to see who Holmes had atop his draft board at the end of the first round and early on in the second, the Detroit Lions traded way up to no. 12 and selected possibly the top receiver in the NFL Draft. Jameson Williams is the definition of a ‘game-changer’ with his blazing speed, ability to create separation, and defined route running.
Williams is a cheat code and someone who will unlock this Lions offense in 2022 once he’s fully recovered from a knee injury suffered this past winter. The Alabama product is considered by many as the top pass-catcher and likely would have been the top receiver off the board if he were healthy.
When you dissect the trade, the Detroit Lions moved up 40 total spots in the draft, which cost them the no. 34 pick.
Detroit leaped to no. 12 overall from no. 32, plus moved from no. 66 to no. 46 and the price was no. 34 in the deal with a division rival (Minnesota) nonetheless.
It wouldn’t be out of the question to see both Hutchinson and Williams contend for defensive rookie of the year and offensive rookie of the year honors in 2022.
Detroit later added a stellar defensive end in Josh Paschal, who can play inside or out but should see a surfeit of time working behind Romeo Okwara. Paschal can slide inside on third down, allowing pass-rush specialist Charles Harris to work at the end on third downs.
Later, the Lions added a safety with starting potential in Kerby Joseph, tight end James Mitchell, linebackers Malcolm Rodriquez, James Houston, and cornerback Chase Lucas.
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Holmes is building this roster from the inside out, on both sides of the football, attempting to control the line of scrimmage. This is not the same old Lions; this roster will be a problem for many teams this season.