Lions Hire HBCU Grad Brad Holmes As General Manager

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The future of the Detroit Lions franchise will now be in the hands of Brad Holmes. Holmes a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, is the former Director of Scouting for the Los Angeles Rams.

He was also a member of the Aggies 1999 MEAC Championship winning football team.

Holmes who’s 41 and one of the youngest GM’s in the entire league, is also just the third Black GM in the NFL joining Andrew Berry (Browns) and Chris Grier (Dolphins). 

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That in itself shows the real lack of diversity in today’s sports and the world as a whole. The Lions and Holmes agreed to a five-year deal. The NCAT alumnus spent his entire career in the Rams organization, beginning as an intern in 2003. 

He was then promoted to the scouting department and played a pivotal role in many of the team’s drafts. In 2013 he was named the Rams director of college scouting. When the Rams left St. Louis for Los Angeles he made the move and has been vital in helping select key members that have helped fuel the Rams into consistent NFC contenders.

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For the hiring of Holmes by the Lions the Rams will receive compensatory third-round picks over the next two years as part of an initiative to “groom” minority head coaches and GMs. Detroit fans seem to be in approval as well. 

When Sheila Ford Hamp fired general manager Bob Quinn on Nov. 28, she promised the Lions would do “an extremely thorough and comprehensive search” for the team’s new front office head.

Now, Holmes will have to hit the road running as the Lions have some big decisions looming, after firing head coach Matt Patricia in season, they’ll need to address that first. That will be followed by what to do with long-tenured quarterback Matt Stafford.

Holmes was instrumental in the Rams moving up in the 2016 NFL Draft to take Jared Goff. That coupled with the hiring of Sean McVay as head coach has helped turn the Rams franchise upside-down and reach a Super Bowl. 

In 2014 Holmes was huge in the team drafting Aaron Donald (3X DPOY) after the Lions passed on him and took tight end Eric Ebron. Funny how things come full circle with him now making decisions in the “Motor City”.

Holmes credits former NFL running back Wilbert Montgomery and former Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome — also the NFL’s first Black GM — for showing him the ropes. Newsome, one of the most successful GM’s in NFL history, built the Ravens into a two-time Super Bowl champion.

The Lions interviewed as many as 12 candidates for their GM position but ownership stated that Holmes really sold them on his bright, detailed scouting eye and inquisitive nature.

His scouting was described as distinguishable from others and really stood out. He did his best work at the NFL combines with his adept and comprehensive, yet digestible presentations over the years.

The Detroit Lions may have found something with Brad Holmes. They haven’t had much luck with head coaching hires or putting the pieces around All-Pro QB Matt Stafford.

Let’s just hope they give him the proper time to put his stamp on this pretty mediocre franchise.