Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes will talk in front of a podium later on Wednesday as part of the 2023 NFL Combine, but he got the day started with an appearance on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football.”
Inevitably, the quarterback position was brought up. Even though the Lions have been pretty upfront in their support of Jared Goff, both the national perception of Goff and Detroit’s high amount of draft capital will keep them in the quarterback conversation this draft cycle.
And while Holmes didn’t quite shut down the quarterback conversation in his talk with Peter Schrager, he again emphasized the team’s faith in Goff. When asked if the Lions could take a quarterback with one of their first two picks, here was Holmes’ response:
“It just has to make sense. Obviously, we like Jared. He’s our starter.”
Then Holmes quickly shifted the conversation to the Lions’ backup position, which he clearly views as a priority this offseason.
“We don’t have a lot behind him,” Holmes continued. “We were kinda sliding into home plate at the very end off of training camp trying to find a backup quarterback. (We were) able to get Nate Sudfeld, and (he) did a nice job for us, but we’ve had these open, transparent conversations about—we’re happy with Jared, he’s our starter, but we need to add some pieces in that room overall.”
Holmes likely left enough open there to keep the quarterback conversation alive for the Lions, but the focus here does appear to be on the backup position. For Holmes’ first two seasons with the Lions, he has drawn some criticism for Detroit’s lack of investment in a true backup. After both Tim Boyle and David Blough struggled in 2021, the Lions re-signed both, only to see them get cut at the end of training camp, leaving the Lions scrambling to find a replacement.
However, it looks like Holmes is more committed to finding a backup this year, whether it’s via free agency—where players like Carson Wentz, Marcus Mariota, Teddy Bridgewater, Case Keenum and Andy Dalton await—or in the later rounds of April’s NFL Draft.