A Sign of Progress?

Now that the smoke has settled regarding Brad’s work in free agency I can say one thing for certain:
The Lions are better.

What is the basis for this observation? It is unlikely ANY rookie will start for this team in 2023.

The ONLY exception is if we secure DT Jalen Carter and ONLY if Jalen gets his head out of his ass and shows up ready to work.

Think about that for moment. I am removing injuries from the equation and saying that minus an injury opening a door not one rookie will start a game for the Lions when the 2023 season starts. Wow. Unless Jalen Carter falls to us as that is the one weak spot on this roster.

We have holes and roster concerns. Can Tracy Walker play a box safety? Is Vaitai healthy and/or what does Glasgow have left? When will Moseley be ready to go? What does Marvin Jones have left?

Last season Hutch was a full time starter day one. Two years ago we added Sewell and Amon Ra who were starters day one. Also, Levi and Alim. Both starters day one. Amon Ra was a starter in 2021 but not immediately. In 2020 Jonah Jackson was a starter and so was Okudah.

Say we draft Tyree Wilson. Is he gonna beat out Romeo Okwara or John Cominsky day one? Hell, I expect Josk Paschal to come out swinging in 20233 too. My gut says nope, Tyree isn’t beating out those guys in 2023. Not day one. Say we drafty Peter Skoronski. Is he beating out Vaitai or Glasgow day one? My guess is no. ANY rookie WR beating out Marvin Jones or Jameson Williams day one? My gut says nope, not day one. What about Bijan Robinson? Is he beating out David Montgomery day one? I don’t think so but he would have a healthy role i what would be a KILLER 3 headed RB committee.

This draft really means BPA available for the Lions and it has been YEARS (hell, maybe never) when need played almost no role in draft decisions. Draft the kind of football character we need and the type of talent we need and let competition and experience sort out the battles. Wow. That is PROGRESS right there.

Holmes is likely adding 5 players that will be critical players over time in this draft and if he trades down he may pick up additional pieces. AND…Brad has a 5th and two 6th rd. picks as well I believe.
None of these rookies are likely to start in 2023 but all of them will be building blocks for the next 4/5 years and beyond if we are lucky.

With pick # 6 I would LOVE to see Peter Skoronski as a guy who can likely play 4 OL spots as a Lion. CB Witherspoon as a guy learning and pushing everyone? That would be awesome. I don’t see QB in 2023 as that creates a rift BUT damn, say we add a guy with #6? Let the battle begin. I am okay with that even if I don’t love that route. Adding Bijan at RB says we will field one ass kicker after another at the RB position. Good luck stopping us NFC North.

The one guy we are all talking about is Jalen Carter. And for a reason. It IS a need. It is also positional value. This represents BPA AND a team need. But is he Warren Sapp or he second coming of Nick Fairley?


JSN would start day 1.


If they draft a DL player in the first I think it is nitpicking on the starting status as they will rotate players there all season long. May not start but it will be heavy heavy playing time.


I don’t think Jaxon is a slam dunk starter here day one. I can see the Lions really liking him but in terms of blocking and doing the full job of a WR as well as coaches loving veterans I would think this would be a battle to watch: Marvin Jones V. Jaxon.

If Jacob won the Lions are better off for that battle and if Marvin wins that STILL benefits the Lions.

What a change from years past. Remember, Jones/Jaxon will be a #3 WR here behind Jameson and Amon Ra regardless of who wins between Jones/Jaxon.

I also love the ripple affect of drafting JSN.

If we draft Jalen he has the best shot at meaningful snaps as a starter. More than Bresee or KC and all other DTs.


Prior to the draft, predicting our starting 53 (the total number per position group was based on 2022 numbers which could change in 2023).

Quarterbacks (2)

  • Jared Goff, Nate Sudfield

Running backs (4)

  • D’Andre Swift, David Montgomery, Craig Reynolds, Jermar Jefferson

Wide receivers (5)

  • Jameson Williams, Josh Reynolds, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Kalif Raymond, Marvin Jones

Tight ends (4)

  • Brock Wright, Shane Zylstra, James Mitchell, Derrick Deese Jr

Offensive linemen (9)

  • Taylor Decker, Jonah Jackson, Frank Ragnow, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Penei Sewell, Graham Glasgow, Matt Nelson, Obinna Eze, Logan Stenburg

Defensive linemen (5)

  • Alim McNeill, Levi Onwuzurike, Isaiah Buggs, Demetrius Taylor, Benito Jones

EDGE rushers (5)

  • Aidan Hutchinson, Charles Harris, Julian Okwara, Romeo Okwara, John Cominsky

Linebackers (5)

  • Alex Anzalone, Malcolm Rodriguez, Derrick Barnes, James Houston, Jalen Reeve-Mabin

Cornerbacks (6)

  • Jeff Okudah, Will Harris, Cameron Sutton, Emmanuel Moseley, Chase Lucas, Jerry Jacobs

Safeties (5)

  • Tracy Walker, Kerby Joseph, Ifeatu Melifonwu, CJ Gardner Johnson, CJ Moore

Specialists (3)

  • Jack Fox, Michael Badgley, Jake McQuaide

We have 8 picks. Some of the players on the above list are still PS eligible. We will likely have some bumps and scrapes with at least a couple guys ending up on the PUP.

I think the names that have to be most worried going into 2023 draft:

Jermar Jefferson, Derrick Deese Jr , Obinna Eze, Logan Stenburg, Demetrius Taylor, Benito Jones, Chase Lucas, Ifeatu Melifonwu


At this point I am leaning on JSN as my choice for #6 as I think the kid is explosive and he can help Amon Ra move outside at times.

JSN had a significant hamstring injury in 2022 that pretty much cost him his season. To me that says he should be brought along slowly. JSN’s 2021 was amazing. Look at this group going forward:

Amon Ra St. Brown, Jameson Williams, JSN, Marvin Jones and Kalif Raymond. There is a lot to like there, esp. long-term.

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A lot of good points my man, but there are a few rookies that would start. Starting with a couple WRs. Even a TE if they went that way. Depending on DT they went with, I believe 2-3 could start.

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Whether or not draft picks start day one might not be all that significant. Not sure that the current roster is all that predictive of who might start. Rodriguez won a starting role as a 6th rounder last year.

Either way, if a number of rookies don’t immediately win regular rotation and eventual starting roles throughout the season this draft would be a disaster.

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I was thinking last night that we may move up to grab a certain player, frankly nothing would shock me, we haven’t had a WTF pick in a long time-thanks to our staff. I can’t wait for the draft, Happy April 1st everyone.


I don’t think the Lions have penciled Jameson in as a starter until he earns it…. and I also consider 3 WRs to be starters based on how often we use 11 personnel.


LBer is a position say a Jack Campbell MIGHT beat out 3rd year Barnes (sorry Cap) or 2nd season Rodrigo but no way this staff will sit Anzalone. I think Rodrigo is going to be hard to beat out in 2023 and that is great news.

Holmes has balanced this roster with solid veterans and good young players. Only DT, 3tech., remains with no real competition noting must here (including me) expect nothing from Levi O. at this point.

I have never seen a Lions team with so few short-term roster holes overall. Every team has long-term issues.

If a rookie becomes a starter in 2023 it is because they beat a quality player not because they were handed a job they didn’t earn. We have seen that Lions movie many, many times including 2022 with Rodrigo as an example. He wasn’t ready to start but he outplayed everyone else including Barnes. That isn’t happening in 2023. Hell, Barnes might become an amazing starting LBer still.

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I certainly agree with this premise. What BH has done with the roster in a few years is pretty remarkable. Not saying we can’t upgrade at spots but we should field a team with very few question marks even if we did not have a draft coming up. It is actually a good time to be a lion fan!


Josh Pascal


I like that thought Phunny. The point of my post is to say that because of signing Marvin the Lions don’t have to pass up a higher rated player to fill the need at WR.

JSN might end up the BPA and if so make that pick. Positional value is there for a WR at #6 for sure.

Jalen Carter is higher on my board than JSN but past that what player is better than JSN at the is point? I would not put a CB over him or an OL player or any defender not named Anderson or Carter. I would not put QB Levi’s or QB AR over JSN either.

Great topic and post. Whomever we end up selecting, it’s a huge step forward that we’ll most likely be selecting guys at each pick who are truly the best overall player available. I think that #6 guy will be a starter, but it’s possible he won’t be. We could go Carter or Gonzalez or Wilson or JSN and NOT start that guy while getting someone like (with a lot of luck), Bijan Robinson at 18 and have him start. Or a guy like Skoronski or OCyrus or Branch or Bresee there who might just perform so well in pre-season that he could start. Your point is legitimate though. When was the last time we were drafting without a couple of wide open spots for top rookie selections to fill? Masterful chess match being played by the front office 2 years into a rebuild none of us believed would be this successful.


And! We may end up not keeping a lower round draft pick from this year as well…… crazy

And I bet we will see at least 50% change of the PS players as we upgrade there as well now


I heard tyree wilson has a knee issue or some other injury he’s nursing. So we’d be able to bring him along like we did with pascal and prepare him for the future and beyond.

Also idk where people get this “day 1 starter” idea from. Holmes has proven he’s willing to use the draft to build for the future while using one year prove it stop gaps to plug the immediate holes.

Dj chark for jamo
Deshon Elliot for kerby
Hoeckenson for James Mitchell
Anzalone (until he got extended) for Barnes

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Great point Dog…we need to start shifting our opinion of these draft classes…BH won’t be going 6 for 6 on starters as we are getting depth and talent. Now, start playing chess by looking at upcoming contracts (Ala Decker) and make sure we are position to not miss a beat. Stenberg has no business on this team. I wouldn’t be shocked at all to see OL get a couple picks. Insurance if Jackson wants too much money and something the develop for Decker’s spot.

Its fun to be a lions fan these days…