Brad Holmes; Man of his word, the evolution of; grading him

Lions are now where BH and DC talked about the last couple of years, things will get harder, will lose good players will need to resign good/really good drafted players to keep them. Now it is still early to grade him in many ways. We don’t know how yesterday’s acquisitions will perform. We don’t know how Levi or BMart or Iffy will perform in 2024, yet he has stayed true to his word as others have pointed out. @LineBusy @Davicus @Thats2 to name just a few of you, @CuriousHusker as well and I’m missing several. I do like the post that Thats2 made on big FA signings and Linebusy has talked about as well.

The first three years things have gone well, very well, even ahead of schedule, and Holmes got the team here mainly through his drafts and a couple of key FA signings.

He has shown a knack for drafting well, very well. Give him an A.
He has been above average on his FA signings not sure if that means he is good, slightly below good or what. But that is how I would view him. B
Trades to be determined for me, early thoughts B. See how BMart and Jamo perform will be a large impact on this area, now add Davis to that group.

He likes one year prove it deals to veterans that have either injury history or haven’t hit their ceilings in their previous location. I’m torn on that one.

But now the team is in a different spot, it’s about maintaining the window that is open and adding key pieces, managing the cap as bigger contracts have to be given to key Lion players who have outperformed their draft position, St Brown or are performing very well and foundation pieces going forward; Goff, Sewell, McNeil, Hutch to name the main ones.

I think we learn more about Holmes as we wait to see if he can keep the very good drafting going forward. What will the deals look like. I don’t quite agree with how @JD9 has portrayed being very fortunate or lucky or something like, not personal to you @JD9, just think Holmes has shown the ability to draft very well. After three drafts and his time in LA think that is safe to say.

Just a few early rambling thoughts.
I am curious to see if there will be a CJGJ available later this week that he grabs at a discount, that player who doesn’t get the deal he thinks he deserves and goes to Detroit on another one year deal.


The non-drafted player acquisitions are sneaky good.
Goff, D-Mo, Glasgow, Raymond, Netflix, Josh Reynolds, Benito, Commish, JRM…
Outside of Goff (franchise QB), these are the kind of depth players good teams are made of.
Where will Davenport, Betts and Davis grade when the season’s over? Not sure. I think our biggest disappointments to date aren’t actually in the Free Agent, rather it’s in the player who’s received a 2nd contract (Romeo, Harris, Walker).

There’s a couple of our UFAs that I have to believe are coming back, too:


I can see Reynolds and Skipper definitely coming back, a few others possibly.

I think my viewpoint on us being the luckiest team in the league is getting misconstrued. I will explain it just a little bit to paint a little bit clearer picture.

Holmes hasn’t made a single decision that has hurt this franchise. A franchise that was arguably the worst in sports who was starting from square one. Even his “blunders” didn’t stop or hinder the train moving forward one bit. Second round Whiff Levi (who he wanted to trade up for), Jameson Williams (who he did trade up for) have not reflected poorly on the team at all. Free agents such as CJGJ and Moseley, basically went unnoticed and were counted on to be starters.

No question about it that BH knows what he’s doing. He is quickly rising up the ranks of best GMs in the league. The combination of him and DC is as good as it gets. You couldn’t draw up a better rebuild. Some of that has to be luck because nothing goes this perfect. We almost made it to the SB last year for Christ’s sake lol.

Love the guy and he’s elite at his job. But no matter how good you are, he has been very fortunate and hasn’t had to face any adversity/failure during this rebuild. It’s gone as smooth as it can possibly go. And we all know that it’s just not realistic to maintain this perfect ride. There hasn’t even been an impact injury on this team in 3 years (knock on wood).

I don’t want to be correct here lol. Believe me I want the bus to keeping plowing ahead with no hiccups. I just don’t think that’s realistic :man_shrugging:t2:

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100% BH has had some goofs, but it’s hard to predict some of the injuries. Unless you look hindsight, like many do.


Well from my experience having a vision backed up by a good plan and good execution generally leads to success. Even with the misses (see history of “new coke”) a sound plan and execution is able to overcome them. I don’t think it is luck. Moreso it is about good management and management techniques.


Is having zero impact player injuries in 3 years not luck too? Lol I think people are getting caught up in the word luck.

Does the most fortunate franchise in the league sit better with some? I mean our two cornerstones on offense and defense fell into our laps in the draft. Penei Sewell and Aiden Hutchinson both had no business making it to our picks. Was that BH being a genius or getting “fortunate” :rofl:

Its being prepared vs. having someone in the backroom holler out a name.

It’s also getting lucky…whether you want to admit it or not…

Is having your top newly signed CB blow his knee out in the first game of the season luck? How about your newly signed safety going on injured reserve for most of the year because of a torn pec? Or your best pass rusher breaking his ankle? ALL teams have injuries, all teams have drafts and all teams have free agency and trades available. The best teams are able to plan for as many eventualities as possible. Is there a small amount of luck involved. Perhaps - but good plans and execution eliminate the need for luck. JMO of course. If you feel our success is based on luck that is cool. I am just happy we are having success!

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Not what I said at all. Never once have I attributed all our success to luck.

Man people are weird…

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brian regan what GIF

Yea, I may have started the misconstruing of your words, wasn’t the intent as I think I understand your point.

I think the Lions had a lot of injuries to their OL the first two years, significant injuries that the team managed to overcome. May not have shown on the W/L but it helped build trust with the coaches as they stayed consistent in their messaging. The OL while the strength has also had injuries all three years that the team has managed to play through and not completely shit the bed. Partially due the depth signings and some luck as well which plays a role in every team’s season.

As the roster has improved the signings and draftings will become different as the focus will be on keeping the talent vs the talent deficient team they started with.
Which was kind of the point of my op, we will learn more about Holmes as we see what extending our drafted talent looks like.
Apologies for any confusion, I agree with your point just not sure how much of it I agree with…lol. And more confusion.

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Roman philosopher Seneca once said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity .”
Holmes and his staff were better evaluators of talent in 2022 than Jacksonville when they decided to take Walker over Hutch.
Holmes and his staff were better evaluators of talent in 2021 than at least 5 other teams that didn’t take Sewell.
Why did good teams get all the “Luck” when Lions were bad and Lions would get the “Lions Luck”?


It’s all good, no big deal. I should expect backlash for my take. How dare I suggest it lol…seriously all good.

Our injuries have been minimal and short for the large majority of the last 3 years. Some only notice what’s going on in Detroit land and base their entire opinion and viewpoint off that. I don’t really have a way of proving it, but I bet we are among the top teams in fewest injuries the last 3 years. And we haven’t lost any significant player due to injuries for more than a few games.

It’s whatever I’ll move on off of this topic. I don’t understand why it caused any fuss. Being lucky is the best thing you can be in sports…and in life for that matter…

He signed Romeo to a 3 year deal and he tore his Achilles in the 4th game of that deal. The player he signed was gone forever.

He signed Walker to a 3 year deal and he tore his Achilles in the 3rd game of that deal. The player he signed was gone forever.

He signed Moseley and got 1 healthy snap out of him. If Moseley is healthy for the NFCCG I don’t think the ball bounces off his facemask …

He signed CJGJ and he tore his pec in the 2nd game of that deal.

That’s a whole lot of bad luck right there. $60 million of contracts up in smoke with zero return.

Hutchinson fell to 2 but Holmes had alternatives, namely Thibodeaux. Holmes made the right pick.

Sewell fell to 7 but Holmes had alternatives, namely Parsons, Surtain, Smith, Slater. Did every GM that didn’t go QB get “lucky” in the 2021 draft? Holmes made the right pick.


For me it’s a good topic to discuss and they have been lucky in many ways.
With regards to significant injuries I think year one or two with Ragnow and Decker those were major but it was still early in the “rebuild” so it was easy to gloss over so to speak.

I think the ACL injury by Mosely last season had an impact, but, you can’t measure it as we don’t know what we would or wouldn’t have had.
Overcame some injuries due to depth signings that stood up in short stints and failed in other areas. Players counted on got injured, or the depth/other starters crumbled when pushed to starting roles especially in the secondary.

I think a huge, but quiet, thing is also working for Brad.

He has avoided catastrophic mistakes.

Everyone whiffs and makes bad picks or bad signings. It happens. The GMs are working with incomplete information in a constantly shifting landscape. It’s not possible to be ‘perfect.’

However, none of the ‘whiffs’ have been super damaging. Like, we didn’t sign a guy for $25 million/year who ended up being a bust. We didn’t drop a first round pick on a guy who is out of the league in two years. We didn’t trade multiple future picks for a player who turned out to be ‘blah.’

Brad seems to be very good at avoiding contracts and moves that will cripple the franchise moving forward. And because he doesn’t dig us into big holes, he can get us moving upward faster.

It is hard to get credit for the things you DON’T do. But, they can be as valuable as the moves you DO make.

I think a LOT of GMs make those big mistakes. We have certainly had plenty of them. I bet some of the contracts that were handed out yesterday look horrible in two years. By avoiding those ‘big’ misses, he has set us up faster than expected for success.

Holmes is a conservative GM and will build a franchise that will be consistently good in the mold of the Ravens, Steelers, Packers, Cowboys and Chiefs.
This approach will allow the Lions to be a contender and always relevant. The downside is he might not win a lot of Super Bowls.
It will infuriate many because he won’t take big swings to win it all if it risks the culture that has been built or the salary cap that is being managed.

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Two Achilles in that group AND with existing players, so not even Free Agents.
And even Harris was a team captain last year, so it’s not like he was rubbish.
As I think about it, the worst pickups were the WR’s in year 1. Perriman, Benson, Williams…

We’ve had 2 subsequent Free Agent classes, neither of which have a player you look back on as “goofs” like we would some in that 2021 class.

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