I know this will offend someone’s half brother …
Key acquisitions/signings: Replacing Jamaal Williams and D’Andre Swift in the backfield with David Montgomery and rookie Jahmyr Gibbs has proven to be quite savvy. The Lions have also received key contributions from free-agent signings Graham Glasgow and Cameron Sutton, as well as the re-signing of Alex Anzalone, who leads the team with 108 tackles. I have always emphasized the importance of re-signing your own top players – that’s a critical part of free agency.
Draft outlook: Gibbs, LB Jack Campbell, TE Sam LaPorta and DB Brian Branch (all taken in the first two rounds this past April) have been exceptional as rookies, providing a number of game-changing plays in 2023. A couple examples: Branch’s pick-six of Patrick Mahomes in the Week 1 win at Kansas City; LaPorta and Gibbs’ five combined touchdowns in this past Saturday’s blowout of Denver. I also love that the Lions drafted quarterback Hendon Hooker, who tore his ACL last November while at Tennessee, in the third round. The young passer has the luxury of logging a redshirt year and could become the eventual replacement for Jared Goff. This rookie class has a chance to be special.
Overview: Hired in 2021 as part of a culture change, Holmes has routinely added the right pieces to build a playoff contender through free agency and, most importantly, the draft. A key component of Holmes’ success is that he has an aligned vision with head coach Dan Campbell. Holmes has put a premium on acquiring players who match the makeup and profile they collectively believe in.