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 NFL.com 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:
- The newest Dungeon of Doom podcast episode by Kyle Meinke and Ben Raven from MLive is a draft mailbag. You can listen to the entire audio recording on Spotify.
- On the team’s official YouTube channel, a short interview by team reporter Dannie Rogers with new cornerbacks coach Dre Bly went up on Friday.
- As pointed out by MLive’s Michigan State reporter Matt Wenzel, former Spartan offensive lineman Kevin Jarvis signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills to return to the NFL. In 2022, Jarvis was an undrafted free agent with the Lions in camp before he was waived with an injury designation in August at the roster cut down.
- 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).
- Also posted yesterday to the team’s official YouTube channel, the new episode of Twentyman in the Huddle brought reporter Mike O’Hara on the show to talk about the Jeff Okudah trade and signing Marvin Jones Jr. in free agency.
- Our own Mike Payton declared his love for the movie “Air” this week in a feature for the SBNation mothership site.
- Elsewhere in the league, the franchise formerly known as the Washington Football Team is going to be sold to new owners. The transfer caps a precipitous fall in stature and popularity of the horribly mismanaged club.
- This past Thursday was head coach Dan Campbell’s birthday: