Detroit Lions Fans need to start preparing. Maybe not for this year, but they should start preparing.
Because great expectations are coming.
The Lions may have only won three games last year, but the organization has received some serious praise for the way it has been run over the past 16 months. Head coach Dan Campbell assembled a respected coaching staff and gained national attention for how competitive the Lions were for most of the 2021 season, including a nice stretch at the end of the season to finish 3-3 over the last six games.
General Manager Brad Holmes found a couple of potential elite pieces in his first draft (Penei Sewell, Amon-Ra St. Brown) –Consensus on the top 10 draft of the category. He followed it up last week with a strong draft that found Detroit dropping twice from the top 12 picks for the first time in more than 70 years for the franchise. This draft received more media acclaim than its predecessor Top five scores by many.
But Holmes doesn’t just get praise from the media. Within NFL circles, the Lions’ general manager is starting to catch the eye. Finished in The Athletic, writer Mike Sandow spoke to NFL executives about each team’s 2022 draft. That’s what one said about Detroit.
“I feel like this is the best I’ve seen recruiting in Detroit in a long time,” said one executive. “I don’t like all of their choices. I didn’t like taking the Kentucky kid, which makes their defense slower, but more than in the past I felt like Detroit made moves that were smart in football.”
Regardless of Josh Pascal (who wasn’t slow), this is a huge praise for Holmes. There was a lot of pressure on the first-time general manager, seeing as he had a lot of valuable seed capital to work with. So far, he seems to have earned the respect of fans, the media and the league.
There are other passing references to what the lions did. One NFL executive actually believes that Minnesota won the trade with Detroit, because “the curve is so flat and the Vikings got that pick in the third round.” Another expressed his admiration for the selection of Alabama receiver Jameson Williams.
“I’m a huge fan of Jameson Williams – so fast, great,” said one of the executives. “We were talking about Atlanta getting Drake London. Jameson Williams looks sexy. The guy from Atlanta doesn’t tease you the same way.”
It’s hard not to get caught up in the noise. I mean when the national media writes things like this…
“This team is going places and still has two first-round picks to think about for 2023. You’re allowed to be excited about the future of the Lions.” https://t.co/UWxlywP19K
Pride of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) May 1, 2022
…you know you’re doing something right.
“Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner.”