Ranking The Nine Black NFL GMs | Despite Thanksgiving Day Loss, Detroit Lions’ Brad Holmes Leads The Way

The NFL has constantly been preaching diversity, and not just at the head coach level. The push for inclusion has also been heavy at the general manager and executive level. With a league-record nine general managers currently, the NFL seems to have turned the corner as pertains to hiring minorities to be top decision-makers of franchises. 

The unprecedented group is led by Brad Holmes of the Detroit Lions, who despite the team’s surprising 29-22 Thanksgiving Day loss to the rival Green Bay Packers, are still 8-3 and the current No. 2 seed in the NFC.

Holmes had done it by reshaping the team’s roster in the image and mold of himself and rising head coach Dan Campbell, which is tough, hard-nosed and physical. After last season’s 1-6 start to finish 9-8 and being a regular-season overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks away from clinching the NFC’s final playoff spot, coming into the 2023 season the hopes were extremely high. 

Lions Expected To Be Here

Prior to Thursday’s loss the Lions were 8-2 for the first time in 61 seasons (since 1962), and that’s something they’ve been striving for since Holmes took the reins in 2021. At his end of the season presser in January, Holmes talked about how expectations in the Motor City had changed heading into this season.

“The standard is set,” Holmes added. “Last year, a foundation was laid, a culture was put in place. This year, a standard was set now. That standard, it’s not going to be compromised. It’s not going to be compromised no matter what.”

“I remember at 1-6, everybody was ready to write us off,” Holmes said. “We made a commitment to build this thing the right way, and sometimes the right way is the hard way, but we stayed with it.”

Eight Others Leading Franchises 

In Cleveland Andrew Berry has built the Browns into a Super Bowl contender with great drafts and shrewd free agency moves. 

Chris Grier has made quality moves that have also made the Miami Dolphins a formidable group that has Super Bowl aspirations.

Omar Khan of the Pittsburgh Steelers continues the success that has long been associated with the franchise. He and Mike Tomlin make a great leadership duo. 

Last year in his first season Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi-Adolfo Mensah led a surprising 13-win season, and this season they’re 6-5 despite a 1-4 start.  

While those four have enjoyed solid success thus far, these four are trying to figure things out.

Ran Carthon (Titans), Terry Fontenot (Falcons), Ryan Poles (Bears) and Martin Mathew (Commanders). 

Las Vegas Raiders interim GM Champ Kelly just got promoted to the role, but the team looks much more competitive (2-1) since he and interim head coach Antonio Pierce took the reins. 

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