The Detroit Lions made things official on Thursday afternoon, announcing the hiring of former Rams director of pro scouting Brad Holmes as the team’s new general manager. The Lions didn’t provide any specifics on the details of Holmes’ deal, but Ian Rapoport said it was a five-year contract for Holmes.
Owner Sheila ford Hamp provided this written statement on the hire:
“On behalf of the entire Lions organization, I am thrilled to welcome Brad Holmes to Detroit. Several weeks ago when we embarked on this process, it was critical that we find the right person to fit our vision for this team. It was evident early on that Brad is a proven leader who is ready for this opportunity. We are thrilled to introduce him to our fans as a member of our football family.”
Team president and CEO Rod Wood also offered a written statement.
“Throughout our search for a new general manager, Brad was someone who stood out immediately. His abilities as a critical thinker, along with his extensive experience implementing technology and analytics into his approach to scouting, were among the many decisive qualities Brad displayed in our time getting to know him during the interview process. We look forward to him helping lead our organization as we take the next steps as a team.”
Wood’s comments, specifically, are interesting, as he notes Holmes’ interest and acumen at analytics and technology drew him to the hire. As noted in the Lions’ official press release, Holmes was involved in improving and enhancing the Rams’ scouting procedures and technology. This story from The Athletic goes into more detail about that process. Here’s a snippet of the story regarding their pursuit of sixth-round safety Jordan Fuller, who is already a starter in his rookie season:
The Rams received GPS tracking data from Ohio State that showed Fuller being capable of running speeds up to 20 miles per hour. They also used predictive modeling based on his build to determine that Fuller would sustainably play much faster than the straight-line sprint test showed.
For more information on the Holmes hire, be sure to check out our podcast with Rams expert Vincent Bonsignore or our four things to know about Holmes.