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Notes: Brad Holmes ranked as a top-10 NFL general manager

He’s pretty good at this, folks.

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Around the NFL’s Gregg Rosenthal posted a 2023 ranking of all 32 NFL general managers on Thursday, and Detroit’s Brad Holmes is quite a ways up there. As MLive’s Brandon Champion pointed out, Holmes had not been on the job long enough to appear on the 2022 version of the rankings, so this is actually his entry point onto the list. Obviously, the architects of the two Super Bowl teams in Philadelphia and Kansas City sit atop the list, but the man with the personnel plan behind the rise in Detroit cracked the top ten.

The high regard for Holmes tracks well with what we’ve seen among the Lions faithful in our own approval polls, and the factors that went into Rosenthal’s ranking match up as well. The analyst praised the new GM’s use of resources, writing “Holmes has done virtually no wrong since arriving” and “two top-shelf drafts and a smart free agency haul that focused on improving the secondary” has “more than earned the benefit of the ever-present doubt in Detroit.”

Everybody loved the 2022 draft class even before we knew how it would turn out (and it turned out even better than expected), so that was clearly top-shelf. Then you remember the 2021 draft class brought us the Sun God, the Dream on the defensive line, and the most unstoppable offensive weapon on the planet.

What about free agency? It was smart enough to get the national bandwagon rolling. As our fearless leader Jeremy Reisman said in his review of Holmes’ first two free agency classes: “while Holmes has been praised widely for his skills in the draft, he deserves almost as much credit for managing two years of free agency in a wise way.” It’s great to see the management team in Detroit getting the credit they deserve. Now, on to the rest of your weekend Notes:

  • Pro Football Focus’ Timo Riske posted a few interesting charts showing snap counts played by rookies from 2011-2022 plotted against the draft selections used to select them. There is one for all rookies overall, and then two supplemental charts breaking out specific defensive and offensive positions. What’s interesting about these is that 2022’s 217th overall selection James Houston logged just 140 defensive snaps but (even setting aside the 71 special teams snaps he played) probably exceeded the snap count expected of a player taken at that spot (look at the 218 line on the Y-axis and the green edge rusher line crosses it roughly halfway between 0 and 250).

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