Earlier in the week, Detroit Lions fans spoke emphatically in favor of coach Dan Campbell. For the second straight polling, Campbell has received an unprecedented 100 percent approval rating from fans after two-plus seasons heading the team.
Now it’s time to turn our attention to general manager Brad Holmes—the architect to the Lions’ rebuild.
Holmes took the long, hard road with the Lions’ rebuild, but in Year 3, the fruits of those labors appear to be paying off. Just look at his first draft: Penei Sewell, Levi Onwuzurike, Alim McNeill, Ifeatu Melifonwu, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Derrick Barnes. All six of those players are regular contributors and five of them were starters last week. Only seventh-round pick Jermar Jefferson has moved on.
His 2022 draft class has been a little more hit-and-miss thus far, but Aidan Hutchinson and Kerby Joseph have been key defensive pieces, and both Jameson Williams and Josh Paschal have flashed when healthy.
Perhaps most impressive has been the immediate contributions from Holmes’ 2023 class. Sam LaPorta is breaking rookie tight end records left and right. Brian Branch looks like a legitimate Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate. And while both first-round picks—running back Jahmyr Gibbs and linebacker Jack Campbell—have had complementary roles thus far, they’ve made enough plays to suggest that when their playing time increases, they’ll bring the production with them.
It’s always important to point out some of the non-draft addition wins this team has had, too. Overlooked players like Josh Reynolds, Kalif Raymond, Alex Anzalone, and Charles Harris remain essential pieces to this team; while swings like Cameron Sutton and C.J. Gardner-Johnson (pre-injury) have produced strong early returns.
Of course, there is plenty of room for criticism. The draft and fantasy community have been quite loud about Detroit’s (lack of) use of Gibbs. And while it’s far too early to write the book on the Lions running back, there is a fair point to be made about a running back’s short shelf life and getting as much value out of that pick as quickly as possible.
Additionally, Detroit’s gambles on injured players have typically not paid off. Guys like Onwuzurike, Williams, Paschal, James Mitchell, and Emmanuel Moseley have yet to give Detroit any meaningful contributions—although it is too early to give up on any of those players.
Before we get into your approval poll votes, let’s look at Holmes’ popularity since being hired in early 2021.
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
November 2022: 97 percent
January 2023: 99 percent
April 2023 (pre-draft): 98 percent
He’s never dipped below 79 percent approval rating, and I’m fairly certain he won’t this time around.
So let’s VOTE!
Do you approve of the job Brad Holmes is doing as Detroit Lions GM?
This poll is closed