blast from the past...
Goff VS Stafford VS Holmes
I'm going to present some theories based on observation on Goff VS Stafford, who does Holmes prefer. How that preference gives us clues as to who Holmes wants. Why did Holmes fill so many free agent spots instead of using the draft. Let's start with Goff VS Stafford. Holmes traded away Stafford for Goff and he was part of the team that drafted Goff. It seems clear Holmes preferred Goff, WRONG. Trading Stafford was done because Stafford wanted out and injuries were catching up to him. In any trade Holmes wanted a starting QB back and two teams fit the bill, Carolina and LA Rams. Holmes preferred the Carolina deal in which he would've got Teddy Bridgewater and the 8th pick but Stafford nixed the deal. So Holmes took the Rams deal and acquired Goff not because he preferred him but he was next up. If Stafford was healthier and willing to stay, he was far more of a Holmes guy than Goff. Stafford could improvise, making out of pocket plays, capable of running when necessary and he had grit. He would take a shot and get right back up, he was a leader, he had QB skills, able to make every throw to every part of the field. Meanwhile Holmes saw Goff fall apart and lose confidence, his teammates complained about him, nobody wanted him after the contract extension, not even the Rams. Goff is not a Campbell/Holmes guy but they know he needs reinforcement so his confidence does not drop. He flat lacks grit or talent. He's a game manager, that's all. Holmes wants a QB with grit, exceptional talent and leadership.. Goff is the guy for now but he's not "THE GUY".
Holmes and Campbell are looking for guy with "grit". Penne Sewell, Hutchinson, James Houston and Jameson are some of those guys and Holmes wants more. Holmes spent all free agency eating his vegetables, rehiring some, signing others, shoring up every weakness to the point that without drafting a single pick, he has vastly improved the defense. Holmes wants to have dessert by drafting every top notch, high impact athlete he can. The players who fit that profile are Richardson. He is fast strong and an exceptional athlete. Yardbarker describes him like this,"he possesses the height to see over any offensive line, regardless of rush. Add in the 244 pounds with the sub-4.4 speed, you have a gifted athletic talent as a signal caller. Next, not only does the prospect own an elite arm, capable of every NFL throw. Not to mention, Richardson displays consistent velocity that will frighten defenses. When the pocket breaks down, he will escape the pocket and accelerate down the field, streaking by linebackers. On the goal line, look for the prospect to call his own number, either with the sneak or beating defenders to the corner. From a mental standpoint, the former Gator appears intelligent, coachable, and scheme malleable." The man is a weapon as a runner and passer. He was born to make big plays. He has game changing talent and this is Holmes dessert.
Then there's Jahmyr Gibbs. PFN says, "Gibbs is built to win — both as a runner and a receiver. At his maximum, Gibbs can be an offensive weapon similar in caliber and style to Jamaal Charles. He has the same speed, burst, play pace, and two-phase ability. That skill set is assuredly worth early-round capital." He is fast. He is a perfect fit with the backs the Lions currently have and he can break big plays through the air and ground.
Mazi Smith. Hutch already HAS CHEMISTRY with Mazi and HE is a special athlete. MLIVE wrote,"The Athletic’s college football writer published his annual list of the 100 most impressive athletes around the country on Wednesday, and Wolverines defensive tackle Mazi Smith checked in at the very top. That’s right, at No. 1.