Brad's comments on Branch

Brad recently said this about Branch:
“He’s been very good,” Lions GM Brad Holmes said of Branch on the Lions-Giants alternate broadcast last week. "It goes back to just getting football players. We don’t really get caught into the whole, ‘Well, we just signed C.J. Gardner-Johnson in free agency so we can’t get a nickel because we already got that. So, let’s get another (position).’ No. Look, man, this guy’s a ball player. We had him high up there on the board. We got in striking distance to take him, and we took him.

Actually, Brad had to have passed on Branch twice, since he said (a) he had a first round grade, (b) Campbell was their last player with a first round grade (so Branch was ahead of Campbell), (c) he never said La Porta had a first round grade, but did say the felt there was a run on TE’s coming and they wanted their guy. So Brad did exactly what he said he didn’t do - he passed on Branch twice, even though he had him rated as the better player. I’m not criticizing Brad. He actually read the draft board perfectly. I think that a more honest summary would have been this: “Man he was one of our highest rated players, and we were just watching him fall. We had some intel that Campbell was coming off the board near 18, so we jumped on him. And then we considered him at 34, but we really had a big need at TE and wanted our guy. But when we saw he was in striking distance, we called the Pack with an even-steven trade, and were floored that they accepted. So we went and got our guy. He almost got away, but man am I glad we got him”

Branch has been so good, he basically has bumped Tracy from the starting unit. But I’m sure Tracy will get alot of snaps. Its funny how our O and D mirrors each other. On O: A draft bargain (Saint) is the dog who will outwork you at every turn and the emotional leader. And an early round stud (Penei) is the most talented guy who will be a perennial pro-bowler. Same on D: Branch is going to be our draft bargain and nose-to-the ground leader that sets the tone. The early round stud is Hutch who is also going t stack pro-bowl honors.

Well done, Brad. You didn’t pass on Branch a third time. Phew!


During last college season someone on here mentioned that Branch was a perfect fit for our defense. So i started following him. After his bowl game i didnt think there was a chance in hell that he would make it to pick 18 and that he was definitely worth a top pick. Thank you underwear olympics!


Can’t watch this enough:


I love that clip. Makes me want to be an analyst for the Lions Packers games just so I can bring up the fact that we took him with the Packers pick every single time he makes a play.

“And Branch makes a crucial tackle on 4th down to keep the Packers off the board. Did you know that the Lions took Branch with the Packers 2nd round pick that they traded for?”

"Branch picks off Love and returns it for a touchdown to seal the game for the Lions. It’s just amazing to think that he could have been lining up for the Packers. "

:laughing: :rofl: :joy:


I think Brad was massaging the truth a little here. I don’t think there’s any way he had a higher grade on Branch than he did Campbell. Not since he passed on him again to take LaPorta.

I do think the decision between LaPorta and Branch was very close (you could tell on Inside the Den), and it’s possible the forthcoming run on TEs tipped it in LaPorta’s favor. But to me that says that they probably never had a 1st round grade on Branch because if so, he would have been the slam dunk choice.

But once you get the guy in the room, it doesn’t hurt to say you did, even if the facts don’t exactly add up.


Interesting takes here. I take it as:

A) They didn’t think Campbell would make it to round 2 because of their intel

B) They may (likely) had Branch rated higher than Laporta

C) Need outweighed ranking at pick #34. If both players are close let’s say Branch was 14th overall and Laporta was 19th overall player on our boards. Branch was the last 1st round player graded and Laporta is top 2nd…it’s not abnormal to take the HIGHEST RATED PLAYER AT POSITION OF NEED.

D) Raiders weren’t messing around once we took Laporta they went up to take McDaniels baby gronk

E) Branch was too good to pass up, regardless of need at that point in the draft where we only had to give up Okudah to go get him.


Some of that could certainly be true, but

They’ve already said Campbell was their last 1st round grade, as @JerseyJungle pointed out.

Maybe, but I wouldn’t call it likely. The proof is in the pudding.

Definitely true which is why I think it was a very close call. But if Branch was a 1st rounder on our board I don’t think that makes them close enough to take need over the board. I think they were both ranked around the early 20s probably.

I think by far the Occam’s razor answer here is Brad is stretching the truth. And that’s fine. One of a GM’s best skills is the ability to lie.

Is that true on Campbell being the last first round grade? I don’t have a quote but recall Holmes doing his little “Campbell wasn’t the 18th player, not the 17th etc and went higher than 14 if I am recalling correctly”.

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He said it somewhere, maybe in that interview with Schefter. @JerseyJungle help me out.

He also said Campbell was the highest rated player left on their board at the time “by a good margin” (can be found in this article)

So the idea that Branch was also a 1st rounder doesn’t add up.

Which again, is fine.

I would have to rewatch it, but I’m pretty sure on Inside the Den, there was a part in which Brad or Dan said, “we got three of our top 14 guys”


Which could mean that Branch was 14th and Laporta was 17th but we took Laporta first even though he was rated as a high 2nd rounder but we had a big need there and no need at NB becuase of CGJ signing (as brad mentioned).

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Could be. They’re all good players. That’s good enough for me.


My point is that Brad has said two things:

  1. We had a first round grade on Branch

  2. Campbell was the highest rated player on the board when he was picked “by a good margin.”

That cannot both be true.


I don’t know if its fair to say that he bumped Tracy.

Branch is probably starting in the slot while CJGJ is starting at safety.

Tracy is recovering from an Achillies and those take time and most never recover from them.

We had CJGJ on Branch was more of a luxury pick while Campbell was the bigger need. My Guess is they had them graded closely and that they went with Campbell based on the bigger need.

That was me … I’ve been on the Branch to detroit band wagon for some time. I felt he was the perfect fit here and exactly what we needed. So is CJGJ and having them two will give our defensive back end a lift up. I am expecting a big year from those two.

Why can’t it be true? What if both statements were true?

Because if Branch had a first round grade, Campbell wouldn’t have been the best option on the board by a good margin.

Gotcha. I see how one could end up taking that as ‘smoke’.

Yeah I just think rather than do a bunch of mental gymnastics to try and get everything Brad said to fit with what happened, we should just accept that he’s massaging the truth a little. Every GM in the league does it, they have to.

Anyway it’s semantics and I didn’t intend to bog the thread down with it.

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Yeah. What a Country Crock. Maybe Brad said, “by a good margarine”? :man_shrugging:

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Oh No Facepalm GIF