Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes had a brief chat with NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero down at the Senior Bowl this week, and revealed that he’s absolutely open to the idea of trading out of the team’s No. 2 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
“I’m always open for whatever,” Holmes told Pelissero. “We’re still in the early stages of it. We’ve got a good feel of this class. We’re at a much better place (at) this stage of the process than we were last year, but still, we’ve got a lot more work to do. But I’m never scared to move around, so we’re definitely open for business, always.”
Of course, this is exactly what a general manager should do nearly three months away from the draft: keep every option open—or at least give off the impression of openness at this point in the process. There are still plenty of NFL Draft events that will be important aspects of the evaluation process, including the rest of Senior Bowl week, the NFL Combine, college pro days, and in-person visits with prospects.
Holmes would be wise to keep an open mind throughout the next three weeks, even if—as he said—they have a pretty good feel of this draft class already.
The first decision Holmes and company must make is their own perceived need at quarterback. With the second-overall pick, the Lions are almost assuredly going to have a chance at the best quarterback in this class—the Jaguars at No. 1 aren’t likely to be in the market after drafting Trevor Lawrence last year. While early draft consensus believed there may not be a quarterback worth taking that high, hype around prospects like Malik Willis and Sam Howell is starting to build after a couple of decent Senior Bowl practices.
But Holmes, first, must decide if he believes Jared Goff is capable of being this franchise’s quarterback of the future. Goff is under contract through 2024, but with hefty cap hits of over $30 million for each of the next three seasons, his level of play must be worth it.
All offseason, Holmes been careful with his words surrounding Goff’s future, commending him for the way he battled through 2021 and finished the season on a high note, but noting the 27-year-old quarterback still has work to do. His conversation with Pelissero wasn’t any different.
“Jared, he knows what he has to do this offseason and then heading into 2022. He’s got to show improvement. He finished the season off—that second half—well. He battled through some adversity early on, but I like how he stayed the course, played some good football late, but he’s got to show up and do it again and compete.”