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Detroit Lions mailbag: Are Brad Holmes’ aggressive tendencies cause for concern?

Jeremy, Erik, and Ryan answer your Detroit Lions questions just day before the 2022 NFL Draft.

NFL Combine Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

While Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes didn’t say anything too revealing during last Thursday’s pre-draft press conference, there was one quote that rose an eyebrow or two. When asked about his philosophy about being aggressive in the draft vs. letting the board fall to him, he didn’t mince words: if he has a guy he really likes, he’s going to go get him.

“If there’s a player that we have buy-in and we want, I’m going to try to get that player,” Holmes said. “That’s just bottom line. There is value in being patient and sitting back. You’ve just got to assess where the value is on your draft board and what the volume and depth is. If the conviction is that high, yeah, you can’t just sit, wait and be patient and see if that player’s going to be there or not. Sometimes you’ve got to be aggressive and go and get him. Now, there are not a lot of those players throughout the draft always, but when that player is identified, I’ll always be aggressive,”

“I’ll always be aggressive” are pretty strong words, and there’s little reason to believe Holmes is lying. His first draft showed some of those aggressive tendencies. He reportedly tried to trade up for Ja’Marr Chase. He nearly traded up for Levi Onwuzurike, and he actually did jump back into the fourth round to grab Derrick Barnes. He did not trade down once.

For some, I’m sure those words of conviction are refreshing. The Lions have not been a team known to make a ton of aggressive moves in the player acquisition phase. At times, fortune favors the bold.

However, there is also a pretty common belief that the best way to succeed in the NFL Draft is to simply maximize your opportunities. Even the best general managers in this league swing and miss; by giving yourself more at-bats, you naturally increase the chances of hits. Hubris is dangerous because even the best scouting processes often result in bad picks.

So is there any serious reason for concern? That’s one of our big topics on this week’s Spotify Live mailbag episode. For just over an hour, myself, Ryan Mathews and Erik Schlitt answered fan-submitted Lions questions, as we are now just a few days away from the 2022 NFL Draft.

Other topics included:

  • Could the Lions go with a non-traditional position at the second overall pick?
  • Could the Lions double up on edge defenders?
  • What kind of production should the Lions expect from their third-round picks?
  • What parts of the city of Detroit are you hoping the NFL highlights when it hosts the 2024 draft?
  • If Malik Willis is “their guy,” do they have to take him at 2?

That and a whole lot more on this week’s Spotify Live session!