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Lions GM Brad Holmes says quarterback is ‘absolutely not’ off table with pick 7

The Lions continue to say their options open for the 2021 NFL Draft.

As Detroit Lions employees continue to do the media rounds, they are doing a pretty good job of keeping their intentions with the seventh overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft under wraps.

The latest piece of the puzzle comes from general manager Brad Holmes, who joined the “Huddle and Flow” podcast recently.

Obviously, the main question with the Lions is whether they’ll consider drafting a quarterback in the first round. Holmes was directly asked if acquiring Jared Goff via the Matthew Stafford trade would eliminate the possibility of them taking a quarterback with that seventh overall pick.

“Oh no. No. Absolutely not,” Holmes said. “I don’t think when you’re picking this high that you can be out on any position. But obviously, quarterback is such an important position. I just think it’s good drafting business always to be very, very thorough on that quarterback class regardless of what your situation is. When I was with the Rams, (we) always said that regardless of what you had at quarterback—and even especially now—it’s the same approach.”

That jives with what Holmes said last week during his virtual press conference with the local media. Specifically, Holmes noted just how impressive this year’s quarterback draft class is.

“I like the crop of quarterbacks that are coming out in this year’s draft,” Holmes said. “That’s obviously always a very, very important position. When you’re picking inside the top 10, I don’t think that there’s a position that you really can look past at any level and say, ‘Oh, well, that’s not a very, very deep position.’”

However, head coach Dan Campbell seems to be tipping the scales in the other direction. Last week on the “Dan Patrick Show,” Campbell did admit that they were open to anything but sounded content with the team’s quarterback situation.

“I think that we feel pretty good with where we’re going right now but yet we’re open to everything right now,” Campbell said.

The decision will be heavily favored by what the Lions think of Jared Goff. While both Holmes and Campbell aren’t quite allowed to talk directly about Goff in terms of how he’ll fit in Detroit, Holmes more or less did on the “Hustle and Flow” podcast, and he sounds pretty optimistic about the 26-year-old passer.

“The things that Jared shows is—the number one thing that shows up is toughness,” Holmes said. “That’s one aspect that may be overlooked at times, but that’s the one that always shot out to me is toughness. His ability, his arm talent, his ability to throw from different levels and platforms. Being a winner and winning a lot of games. When you talk about wins, not only in the regular season but in the playoffs and the postseason, of current quarterbacks he ranks up there at the top.”

While the Lions are sending mixed messages—and it benefits them to do so—it’s also quite possible they’re being completely honest in their assessment. They can be happy with Jared Goff while also believing that this impressive quarterback draft class may be too good to pass up with the seventh overall pick. One thing is for certain, draft night is going to be extremely interesting this year.

Hat tip to Chris Burke of The Athletic for finding the interview first