With the 2021 NFL draft not exactly seven days away, new Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes says the franchise is available to trading its No. 7 overall pick.
“Yeah, there has been discussion with other teams,” Holmes said during Friday’s pre-draft news conference. “I will keep those in-house, but there has been discussions.”
Holmes noticed that nothing is unchangeable now.
After a 5-11 completion to the 2020 season, where Detroit ranked last in overall team defense, the Lions have entered a total remake.
Beyond Holmes, the pre-draft process has been a collaborative effort with first-year head coach Dan Campbell and his coaching staff as well as key executives. They’re hoping to build depth on the two sides of the ball, which is the thing that Holmes considers to be of “utmost importance.”
“At 7, we do have a cluster of players that we’re comfortable with picking, but at the same time we will be very prepared and also willing to move in either direction,” Holmes said. “So, we’re still open in those regards, but there are a cluster of players that we would be comfortable with.”
Detroit utilized its pick at No. 3 in the 2020 draft to select Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah, who was restricted to nine games with 47 tackles and one interception. Albeit some should consider his newbie season to be a disappointment, the team is committed to bringing the best out of him in Year 2.
Holmes likewise said that the past progress or lack thereof of draft picks at specific positions within the franchise, like wide receivers or tight closures, won’t cloud his vision of whom he sees as the best fit. As large as on-the-field qualities and shortcomings are in the evaluation process, culture is additionally enormous for the new Lions system.
Holmes expects at least 10 individuals to be in the least room on draft day once official decisions are made.
“More so from a culture fit, regardless of scheme, and obviously scheme does play a part, but at the end of the day, if the player has certain standards of toughness, passion, if a player has grit, that doesn’t have anything to do with if a guy is a press corner or an off-zone quarters corner, or if a guy is a 3-4 rush backer,” Holmes said. “Does a guy play hard or he does not? Does he have a high motor or does he [not]? Does he take plays off, does he not? Does he love football, does he not?
“So, those are the standards that we look for, but having that grit, passion for football that’s at an elite level, those are pretty much the standards that are the fits, more so of if the guy is just a scheme fit.”