The Foundation Being Built Here by Holmes/Campbell

Now that this season is almost over (mercifully) we can start to look at what Holmes did and what that says about the future in 2022 and beyond. We have two first round picks in 2022 and 2023.

Who did Holmes lock down in 2021? 27 year old (in June) Romeo Okwara as an OLBer. Romeo was graded as the NFL’s 6th best edge rusher in 2021 through week 3 despite 1 sack in 4 2021 games. Holmes also extended center Frank Ragnow. Holmes also traded for Brockers and extended him through 2022.

Past that Holmes did a bunch of one year deals with guys like Charles Harris and Alex Anzalone. These were fliers and they paid off. WR Tyrell Williams and Perriman were one year busts.

Golladay was allowed to walk.

Holmes will have to make decisions in on guys like Charles Harris, Alex Anzalone, Tracy Walker, maybe extending CB AO early as he will be on the last year of his rookie deal. Josh Reynolds fits here as does Jalen Reeves Maybin. I want every one of those guys back in 2022 and all the deals should be reasonable. I think we can do all of that and still get a true #1 WR in free agency.

If we look at the draft we can see Holmes looking at value but we can also see his vision. He drafted a BEAST of a LOT in Sewell. Brilliant. A building block. Next Holmes drafts not one but TWO DTs. Levi and Alim. DT is a VERY hard position to learn and Levi missed all of 2020 meaning with a full off-season and now experience that should help. After the first three picks in the draft Holmes then looked for value and he found that at CB (Ifeatu Melifonwu) and WR (Amon Ra St. Brown). I see a slight reach for Barnes at LBer as Holmes seems to have wanted a LBer in development in 2021.

It is clear Holmes believes good line play is critical. The OL will be in even better shape in 2022 due to experience and Evan Brown becoming a great back up/depth player.

I expect Flowers to be cut but I hope we can find a way to slash his salary but keep the player. It isn’t like Trey is going to make much $ with his numbers and recent injuries and I think he is a hell of a player. Find a way to splash his contract but keep him if possible. I think Holmes wants Goff to be the guy here and Goff will get 2022 to show the Lions what he can do with a better cast around him. It seems easy to call that the WR position will get attention in 2022.

What do these past moves say about the future here? I think Holmes believes in talent but I also see a vision at work here. My guess is that Holmes wants to field a defense that is strong up the middle and my guess is that Kyle Hamilton is in play for the Lions. As much as one of those DEs has to be considered Kyle Hamilton could be a true BEAST here on defense playing behind those DTs we now have. Obviously DE has to be considered and Flowers has to be seen as cut. Could the Lions be happy with Charles Harris, Romeo Okwara, Julian Okwara and Austin Bryant as edge guys? Enough to pass up the top edge players and add Kyle Hamilton? Seems like a stretch but damn does Kyle look good as a playmaker in the secondary and Holmes seems to also think the secondary is important.

The Lions have 25 sacks in 2021. Tied for 31st in the league. That is bad. Taking a Kyle Hamilton over a top edge rusher seems like a stretch and taking a top edge player seems like a smart move.

This thread is about what Holmes is building and what the vision is between him and Campbell. IF the Lions re-sign all the guys above (at reasonable prices) what i the vision for Holmes? Conventional in needing a great pass rusher in a passing league OR drafting a Kyle Hamilton which could be the glue this secondary needs to paid with Tracy Walker? The Lions also have that second 1st rd. pick too.

When I am looking at what Holmes has built here and what he needs to do to move this squad forward I think the answer is to find a way to keep Flowers on a reduced salary, get Romeo Okwara back and draft Kyle Hamilton as a safety who can impact every play versus looking at drafting an edge rusher.

I think Kyle Hamilton fits the vision of Holmes the best. After that Holmes can look for value in the draft but I think he wants a LBer and if Holmes lands say Kyle Hamilton and say we get lucky and a guy like LBer Devin Lloyd slips that would be our defensive foundation right there.


Romeo Okwara has an achilles injury, depending on him as an effective edge rusher is not appropriate IMHO. Same goes for Okudah, different position, but same brutal hill to climb with that damn achilles. I am greatly concerned for their futures.

I’ve been pondering a trade down with the Giants on and off for a week or so. I really like Kyle Hamilton, but I think if Hutch is there I take him and forego a trade down unless it’s to good to pass up. If KT is there, I do the trade down.

Holmes has made it clear that he builds from the inside out, and we’ve seen that with his first three picks. The Lions love talent + love of the game. They want guys that bring it every down. Aidan Hutchinson has shown that intensity game in and game out, I don’t see the same thing with Kayvon Thibodeaux.

Hamilton has that intensity/love plus talent that this team needs, I wouldn’t be upset with him as a Lion one bit, but not at two. Only with a trade down.


Losing Okwara and Ragnow, you could argue we lost our 2 best players for most of the season. We win a couple more games if they were healthy all year.

In the draft, I’d take Hutch for sure if he’s there @ 2. Pleasant and AG coaching the young secondary up well already, and most of them are rookies. Imagine if we had a pass rush.

Hutch, R. Okwara, J. Okwara, Harris would be a good 4 man rush unit.


And he becomes a 3rd round comp pick. Best possible outcome now that we know history a bit.


Surprisingly, I have thoroughly enjoyed the season. I figured I’d follow the Rams more and save myself the Sunday misery but I’ve watched every single game and been excited about each one.


This. Plus, I’ve always thought Romeo would be a great complimentary pass rusher. I like Julian and Harris and Bryant as depth. But what’s missing is that stud pass rusher. There just so happens to be 2 and the Lions are all but assured to draft in the top 2. It’s lined up well for them so far.

I know the WR depth chart is putrid, but the lions rank 31st in sacks as well. They need a legit pass rusher - badly.

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I’d say it because you see effort and toughness. You see players playing with pride.

Great post.


Flowers is a boat anchor and impediment to the team progressing at any price.


At least 1 of either S Brisker or S Hill should be available at the Top of the 2nd round, where the Lions will likely be drafting. I would take either one and run to the stage and make the Pick. Stud DE’s rarely, if ever, hit the market after their 1st contract, excluding guys, who like to play with fireworks !!

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I never thought I would be so excited about a 2 win team. The passion for the game oozes out of every pore of Campbell and Holmes. This might be the best pairing of coach and GM that I’ve seen with the Lions. Funny that the team hired Campbell before hiring Holmes. Very unconventional and frankly I’m surprised at how well it is working. They are cut from the same cloth and appear to be very dedicated to their craft. Quinn and Patricia? Not so much. They came in acting like the smartest guys in the room and ended up being the dumbest. Funny how that works out more often than not. The Dunning Kruger effect in full swing.


I think Tracey Walker’s future will have a bit of a domino effect. If they pay him then they won’t take a run at Marcus Williams in FA. I think Walker may well walk and we sign Williams and possibly pair him with a day 2 pick at safety next season. I really like that safety out of Arkansas, Cantalen, but think he is returning to school next year.

I don’t think there will be too many teams looking to trade up to the top 2 or 3 picks. The blue chips simply aren’t there in this draft and teams like the Jets and Giants aren’t one guy away and need talent all over.

Take the BPA with 2 overall - if it is KT then so be it. We will need another defensive playmaker too with one of of our next two picks.

Nakobe Dean or a corner like Sauce Gardiner or Mccreery with the Rams pick
WR with the second rounder, I’d like a dynamic guy here to upgrade from Raymond - Jahan Dotson would be ideal

Add Marcus Williams and someone like Chark and a blocking tight end in FA. With Thibs, Dean and Dotson in the first two rounds would be a nice infusion of speed and dynamism to the roster

Some solid thoughts in this thread. Thank you.

When looking at the vision of Holmes and Campbell it is clear they do value edge setters and pass rushers. Why re-sign Romeo Okwara if you do not value edge pass rushers for example? Also, in looking at drafting OT Sewell I think Holmes does look at positional value too.

With all that in mind it is logical Trey Flowers is cut and the cap savings poured into building this roster in 2022. Then replace him (Flowers) with a cheaper rookie with crazy upside. It seems clear to me that the Lions will draft a pass rusher to replace Flowers and that is also the right move at this point.

IF the Lions choose to re-sign/extend CB AO, Safety Tracy Walker, LBer Jalen Reeves Maybin, WR Josh Reynolds, OLBer Charles Harris AND of they go after a #1 FA WR option…there may also be $ left over for one more significant piece too. I think the Lions will lock those guys down and I think those guy will re-sign here for a reasonable contract as it is unlikely any of that group get more $ elsewhere (or are seen as starters across the league outside Walker and Reeves Maybin).

What additional piece could be added past WR and re-signing our own guys who would take this roster closer to the vision that Holmes and Campbell have in 2022? When the Lions look at what we have, what we can re-sign…what do they wish we had past what we already know about?

This club kicked Jamie Collins to the curb in favor of Alex Anzalone for example. And we re slow walking LBer Derrick Barnes as a starting level player while giving Jalen Reeves Maybin a shot. So not just filling a position but adding a critical player. Who would that be? I think that player is Saint’s Safety Marcus Williams.

Is it too much for a team to sign free agents at both safety spots (Tracy Walker AND a Marcus Williams), re-sign CB Amani O. early AND re-sign LBers Reeves Maybin and Alex A. as well as a critical #1 FA WR? That seems like a lot BUT…most of the Lion free agents should be very affordable. And honestly not every Lion free agent is a a must keep. This roster needs impact players.

By drafting a top DE/OLBer the DL is actually very inexpensive. RB is inexpensive. LBer is inexpensive. And CB is inexpensive too, at least for 2022 (which is why locking AO down now is critical). WR will be expensive soon. If safety becomes expensive it is easy to justify with other cheaper investments like LBer, ESP. if we add an impact rookie LBer with the Rams pick.

At inside LBer we have Derrick Barnes locked down and then no one. I think we may have to pick between Alex A. and Jalen Reeves Maybin? At OLBer we will have Romeo, a top rookie, hopefully Charles Harris (hopefully re-signed), Austin Bryant and Julian Okwara. I can live with that assuming Flowers is cut.

But Barnes and then free agents Jalen and Alex is not good. Barnes may still be solid but counting on him to become the man in 2022 seems unwise to me. That doesn’t seem like the vision of Campbell or Holmes. Jalen had to earn his spot too. This is a tough situation.

If this club goes after a top WR and say Marcus Williams (with Glenn and Campbell that might be a great fit for Marcus) as well as locking down Tracy Walker…what is the vision at inside LBer? If the vision is to be strong up the middle I think we need a MUCH better LBer option versus counting on two overachievers in Alex and Jalen as well as a guy who did not become a significant LBer in 2021 (Barnes…who I really like).

i think you make a lot of good points and I am thinking along a lot of the same lines. Walker has lost himself a considerable amount of money in FA over the past 5-6 weeks. He started the season very strong but his play has tailed off and has missed some time. He went from pushing for 10mil a year to probably having to setting for 5-7mil. My guess is he re-signs here for 1-2 more years to rehab his market even more.

Marcus Williams and Aaron Glenn had a fantastic relationship in New Orleans and with Williams likely to hit free agency, the fit couldn’t be more perfect. He instantly solidifies the secondary and makes this defense much better.

Also even if we re-signed Amani we would extend his contract which keeps his final year intact. My guess is they would leave his 2022 cap hit pretty much unchanged. My guess with ILB’er is re-signing JRM (Maybe Anzalone for cheap depth), and drafting a rookie high. Let those three guys compete for the two spots and then you have good depth as well. Barnes may wind up a role player if he doesn’t develop as he has shown solid blitzing potential as well as good run defense.


We’ve proven to be very good this far signing guys on the cheap, whether it’s Holmes with an eye for talent or MCDC and staff coaching them up.

So, rather than re-sign all of the guys we signed on the cheap last year who worked out, maybe they decide to go on the cheap again. Not saying we should or that they will, just saying it’s an option.

Belichick is very good at this too, but he let them go when they got too expensive and like every single one of them underperformed the big contract they signed with other teams. Van Noy for instance. Got him for nothing, made him a good player, signs a big deal with the Dolphins and lasts for a year before he’s back with the Pats.

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If Brad takes a Safety in Hamilton over Hutch or KT, he will get spitroasted by most of the fanbase and the media, and rightly so. Unless Hamilton is a sure fire, 100%, generational, top 3, all-pro Safety by his 2nd year, IT WILL BE A BAD PICK. The same things being said about Hamilton were pretty much said about Okudah. The only way Brad should even consider taking a S over a DE is if said S has one of the best DB combine/workouts in history and tests off the charts physically, for his position, better than KT or Hutch.

Right on That’s. It seems unlikely the Lions will re-sign every singe one of our free agents and choices are necessary. I can see us opting to let Charles Harris walk for example and if we draft a pass rusher high and we get Romeo back we can be okay without Harris. If necessary. Same thing with Josh Reynolds. Better with Harris and Reynolds but we can live without either of them if we upgrade around those positions in other ways.

This thread is about the vision of Holmes and Campbell which seems to be winning through the play of the lines, running well, taking shots when they are there and keeping the critical talent we need to keep. That is why we let Golladay walk and we kept Okwara.

Going all in at the safety position with Tracy Walker and Marcus Williams seems to fit squarely into this vision. Locking down Amani Oruwariye feels like the Ragnow situation. Just do it and try to save a bit now as Amani is everything you want in a CB and it sets the tone that this club will reward grear play with a great contract.

If the Lions have to choose between Alex Anzalone (28 in September) and Jalen Reeves Maybin (27 in January) I think I re-sign Alex. But I look for a rookie who can take a job away from Barnes or Alex and I smile as I watch them competing to play.

This is going to be a very interesting off-season for Holmes and Campbell. The foundation is built in many ways. The OL is locked down, RB is okay and we have Goff. On defense the DL has a foundation in Levi and Alim, Holmes locked down Okwara and Brockers and Brad needs to take the next steps implementing his vision. I think that starts by keeping what we must need to keep and to me that means keeping Tracy Walker and extending CB A,ani O. too.

From there we cannot trot out the same WR crew. I expect serious investment there in free agency.

What is Holmes thinking? Luckily this draft is loaded at WR meaning with every pick outside our 1st pick we can weigh WR available talent V. talent on the board at other positions. I think Holmes needs to answer this vbasic question:
Why are the Lions losing football games?

With all the issues facing the Lions in 2021 they were 23rd in offensive yards per game. Knowing the issues we had it is easy to see the Lions adding a top WR, getting Frank Ragnow back and seeing that number rise with those two updates right there. The Lions were also 16th in rushing yards per game. It is easy to see a better passing game helping this running attack even more.

However, the defense is a larger mystery. The Lions are 27th in yards allowed per game. The Lions are midpoint in rushing yards per attempt allowed (16th) but the Lions are 31st in passing yards allowed per attempt (737 yards per pass allowed). It is easy to see the DL getting better by adding a top rookie and Levi and Alim as well as Penisini getting better. But this secondary has hurt us all year; All stats from NFL Football Stats - NFL Team Opponent Yards per Pass Attempt |

I think safety has been a killer for us all season which is why I am bringing back Tracy Walker and adding Marcus Williams. I don’t think there is a bigger bang for the buck for the Lions than solidifying the safety position. I also think an upgrade at LBer is also critical.

Again, it is easy to understand the offense. Adding a free agent WR is critical. Also Dan Campbell setting the tone as the play caller seems to have helped too. The offense is easy to fix in that the foundation is set, we can run and with credible WRs it will be easy to get more production from this group. The development of Amon Ra has been fun to watch and Josh Reynolds has been good here with Goff and Boyle. In 5 games with the Lions Josh has 18 catches for 295 yards and 2 TDs. That is solid #2/#3 production right there. The WR position is easy to fix in that spending on the right combination of guys will lead to more yards and more points on offense.

But on defense what will lead to lower passing yards allowed and less points allowed? Adding a top rookie pass rusher should help and hopefully we can keep Charles Harris too. Gotta get better pressure. And we need to stop playing Will Harris at safety!!! Adding a top safety should help bring down the yards allowed per pass too.

In short the Lions lose games because the offense passing attack was MUCH worse than our rushing attack. And on defense this club allowed way too many yards per pass and we were okay at stopping the run overall. Even with Alex as the main LBer. This secondary has to get better and Marcus Williams could be that missing piece.

Keeping Walker, signing Marcus Williams, drafting Hutchinson, getting Okudah/Jacobs/Okwara back healthy, and hopefully drafting Lloyd at LB’er will do wonders for this defense, IMO.

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Lots of good stuff in this thread
I’d expect him to sign here again for a reasonable price
There’s no reason to get rid of a productive player
He’s had no success elsewhere
He should want to return
My view anyway …


I think he could be awesome. I have always liked incentive based….just In case a dude is playing for a contract. He does seem to be lit by more than just a money driven fire.

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I’d try and rework his contract and try and trade him to the Patriots. At least we’d get a 5th or something in return.

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