When we last checked in with Detroit Lions fans about their thoughts on general manager Brad Holmes, the team was mid-plunge. At the time, they were just 1-3—little did we know three more losses were around the corner—and people were already starting to feel a little restless.
Offensively, the team was absolutely steamrolling opponents, leading many to credit Holmes with continuing to build on a strong offensive line, drafting Amon-Ra St. Brown on Day 3, and bringing in a red zone weapon like Jamaal Williams.
But there was much consternation about the defense. Not only was it bad, but four draft picks (three in Day 1 or 2 of the draft) were essentially contributing nothing to the team: Levi Onwuzurike, Josh Paschal, Ifeatu Melifonwu and Derrick Barnes.
Needless to say, a lot has happened since then. The Lions went on the aforementioned slide down to 1-6, but responded with a three-game winning streak that somehow managed to bring playoffs back into the discussion.
And Holmes’ rookie class has had a big part in that. Since our last polling, Kerby Joseph has taken off, earning himself Defensive Player of the Week honors following a two-interception performance vs. Aaron Rodgers. Aidan Hutchinson, too, won Defensive Player of the Week honors in a game where another Holmes defensive draft pick—Alim McNeill—also shined. And on Thursday, rookie sixth-round pick James Houston even flashed some serious potential with two sacks in five defensive snaps. If you look at the Lions’ 2022 NFL Draft class, the Lions have gotten solid, meaningful play from everyone short of Jameson Williams—who we’ll finally see soon—and Chase Lucas, who is quietly contributing on special teams. That’s a pretty incredible outlook thus far.
Of course, not everything has been perfect with Holmes. Some of his free agent moves have fallen flat on their face. DJ Chark has struggled to make an impact, Mike Hughes’ play has been a very mixed bag, and the linebacking and secondary both remain positions of need that have gone relatively unaddressed in two offseasons.
Injuries have also made a lot of his move moot. Holmes gave Romeo Okwara a big extension in 2021 and the defensive end has played four games since. Holmes re-signed Charles Harris this offseason, and he’s only started four games and has a single sack. Tracy Walker got a big extension this year and tore his Achilles three games into the season. None of these are necessarily Holmes’ fault, but they’re also developments necessary to acknowledge when assessing the GM’s use of salary cap.
Before we get into your thoughts on the job Holmes is doing, let’s check in on his approval rating throughout his first 1.5 seasons.
March 2021 (pre-free agency): 97 percent approval
May 2021 (post-draft): 98 percent
September 2021 (post-cuts): 90 percent
October 2021: 87 percent
November 2021: 79 percent
December 2021: 97 percent
January 2022: 97 percent
March 2022 (pre-free agency): 96 percent
May 2022 (post-draft): 99 percent
September 2022: 95 percent
October 2022: 82 percent
Now it’s time for you to vote on whether you approve of the job he’s been doing. Vote in the poll below and explain your reasoning in the comment section below.
Do you approve of the job Brad Holmes is doing as the Detroit Lions GM?
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