The first of the Lions big jobs this offseason has gone. Replacing Bob Quinn at GM is Brad Holmes.
Let's have a look at the man who, all being well, will be in Detroit for the next 5 seasons (at least!).
Brad Holmes played on the defensive line at North Carolina A&T, winning a national title and serving as team captain, perhaps proving his leadership credentials at a young age. His family has pedigree too; his father, Mel Holmes, was an offensive guard for the Pittsburgh Steelers and his uncle, cornerback Luther Bradley, was a 1st round pick of our Detroit Lions in 1978.
Holmes has spent his entire non-playing career with the Rams, starting in 2003 as a PR intern, before moving on to a scouting internship the following year and continuing to rise up the ranks, becoming the director of college scouting in 2013, thus being int he co-pilot's seat for 8 drafts with the Rams alongside GM Les Snead.
I'm going to take a look at those drafts in brief below, but first I'm going to touch on something that I see consistently from interviews that I've read about Brad, and that's his philosophy on what makes prospects important. A quote from his 2019 interview with Yahoo Sports put it best:
"When you get to the NFL level, everybody has got the ability. Everybody is talented. Everybody is big, strong, athletic, fast, agile. Everybody has that. The separation is the intangibles. So you have to find out what actually drives the player. What level of passion does he have? How much does football mean to him? How hard does he really work? Does he have a mental toughness when things go bad? Can he bounce back? Can he persevere?"
I think we can expect to see some dedicated people entering Ford Field for the next 5 years.
Let's take a look at those 8 Rams drafts, with grades taken from Rams supporting websites:
R1, P8: WR Tavon Austin. Grade: C-
R1, P30: OLB Alec Ogletree. Grade: A-
R3, P71: S TJ McDonald. Grade: B+
R3, P92: WR Stedman Bailey. Grade: B-
R4, P113: OL Barrett Jones. Grade: D+
R5, P149: CB Brandon Mcgee. Grade: F
R5, P160: RB Zac Stacy. Grade: B-
Grades from ramstalk.net
R1, P2: OT Greg Robinson. Grade: F
R1, P13: DT Aaron Donald. Grade: A+
R2, P41: CB Lamarcus Joyner. Grade: B-
R3, P75: RB Tre Mason. Grade: D
R4, P110: S Maurice Alexander. Grade: B+
R6, P188 CB EJ Gaines. Grade: A
R6, P214 QB Garrett Gilbert. Grade: F
R7, P226 OT Mitchell Van Dyk. Grade: F
R7, P241 S Christian Bryant. Grade: D-
R7, P249 DE Michael Sam. Grade: F
P7, P250 C Demetrius Rhaney. Grade: C
Draft grades by ramstalk.net
R1, P10: RB Todd Gurley. Grade: A
R2, P57: OT Rob Havenstein. Grade A+
R3, P72: OT Jamon Brown. Grade: C
R3, P89: QB Sean Mannion. Grade: D+
R4, P119: OT Andrew Donnal. Grade C
R7, P224 ILB Bryce Hager. Grade: B+
R7, P227 DE Martin Ifedi. Grade: F
Grades by ramstalk.net
From here on out, the retrospective grades dry up, and the grades at the time are wholly out of date, so let's do a job well - and do it yourself.
R1, P1: QB Jared Goff. Grade: B. Goff hasn't been a total bust, he's shown absolute flashes, but mixes it in with some awful playmaking. He can't do anything that isn't planned. Certainly not what you want out of an overall no.1 pick, but if the team around him is good enough, you can win a Super Bowl with him, as they almost did in 2019.
R4, P110: TE Tyler Higbee. Grade: A. Tyler Higbee is one of the premier tight ends in the league, and they got him in Round 4. Bargain.
R4, P117: WR Pharoh Cooper. Grade: D. Highly thought of recruit who was graded A by many fansites at the time, but, whilst he made the Pro Bowl as a return specialist in 2018, he was ultimately cut later that year.
R6, P190: TE Temarrick Hemingway. Grade: F. Never see the field after injury and was cut in 2018. To date, he only has 1 reception in the NFL, though he is still a member of the Washington Football Team.
R6, P193: MLB Josh Forrest. Grade: F. Another player who was injured and then waived.