Just In:The Detroit Lions’ approach to the NFL draft will remain consistent, even with the team’s…Read More.

The Detroit Lions are setting their sights on the Super Bowl for the 2024 season, but General Manager Brad Holmes confirmed that this won’t alter their draft strategy. During his pre-draft press conference, Holmes made it clear that they don’t approach the draft based on a Super Bowl “window.” Instead, the focus remains on selecting players who can have a significant impact on the team.

Holmes’ approach contrasts with that of his former team, the Los Angeles Rams, who, when aiming for a Super Bowl, adopted a more aggressive strategy. The Rams became known for trading high draft picks for veteran players, coining the phrase “F them picks.” Despite this, the Lions are sticking to their approach of building through the draft without veering into aggressive territory.
While the Lions haven’t made any similar high-cost player trades, some believe the team’s overall level of talent could lead them to draft with more urgency than normal, whether that means trading up and grabbing a high-impact player who could push them over the top or using a high draft pick to trade for an established NFL starter. But Holmes said that’s a dangerous way to play the draft.

“I just think if we keep improving every single year through doing it in our process, that’s what we’ve been doing and that’s what we’ll continue to do,” Holmes said. “I think when you start getting into that, ‘We’ve got this window, we’ve got this, so we’ve got to pivot,’ that’s when I think you kind of get into a little bit of trouble.”

Of course, it’s lying season for NFL general managers who are trying to throw off their intentions to the public. But there is reason to believe Holmes is being honest when he says they won’t alter their overall philosophy because of their overall talent level. Just look at their history.
When the Lions’ roster was far away from a contender, the conventional norm would’ve said Holmes should have accumulated as much draft capital as possible to fill the roster with young talent. However, in his second NFL Draft for the Lions, traded up 20 spots in the first round to grab Jameson Williams. And last year when the Lions entered the offseason as NFC North favorites, he ended up trading down for Pick 6 to Pick 12.

For Holmes, the strategy is so simple it sounds too obvious: just get good players.

That could still mean trading up in the first round. If the resolve is high enough, Holmes openly admittedly they’ll go and get him.

“If it’s the player that we want, we’re just going to go and get them,” Holmes said.

Don’t mistake aggressiveness for desperation or urgency. Holmes has operated this way for three seasons now. He finds guys he likes, and he goes and gets them.
While the Detroit Lions aim to build a championship-caliber team, they must be mindful of their draft resources. With only three picks in the top 150, including the 29th overall selection, the Lions need to carefully consider how much they’re willing to invest to acquire the right player. General Manager Brad Holmes explained that the cost of moving up in the draft depends on how far they need to climb.

“It’s just a matter of how high we’re talking about. Is it way high? Is it just a few spots?” Holmes remarked during his pre-draft press conference.

Given these constraints, the Lions are exploring every possible option. This includes the possibility of trading out of the first round entirely—a decision that might disappoint many Lions fans, especially with Detroit hosting the draft this year. However, the team remains committed to making the best strategic choices, even if that means missing out on a high-profile prospect.
We have to do the right thing for the organization,” Holmes said. “If it makes sense and it lines up and it’s the right thing to do, then we have to do the right thing. Say that happens where the fans have been waiting there all night for this pick and we get an offer that we can’t really turn down and makes sense, we’ve got to do the right thing and hopefully, our fans will forgive us.”

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