Let me start this off by saying that Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes has done a phenomenal job with this team. Yes, he has a weakness and we’ll get to it, but that does not at all overpower the fact that he took this team at one of it’s lowest points ever and rebuilt it up to a point where they’re looking at winning their first division title in 30 years and playing a home playoff game for the first time in Ford Field history.
This is the guy that selected the tight end that’s having one of the greatest rookie tight end seasons in NFL history. He took the Pro Bowl receiver in the fourth round and he selected one of the very best offensive linemen in the game. Of the 23 picks he’s made, all 23 are still with the team in some capacity and most have become starters in Detroit or have found a productive role with the team. Free agency and trades is another area that’s bared fruit as well. Although fans may not think so because he has yet to trade for a an All-Pro or something like that.
Holmes has done well in so many areas except for one. He’s done very bad when it comes to building a defensive line. Not just a little bad, but very bad.
Aidan Hutchinson is good. He’s, as advertised, one of the best edge rushers in the NFL. Lions fans may find that hard to believe because he doesn’t fill up the stat sheet, but as we’ve already shown here, he gets doubled and tripled most of every game. That still hasn’t effect his pressures and hurries numbers. He’s one of the best in the league in that regard. There’s also Alim McNeill. He was having the best season of his career and has been one of the leagues top graded interior lineman until his injury.
Let’s talk about the moves outside of Hutchinson and McNeill though.