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Lions GM Brad Holmes reveals part of working with Rams that he didn’t like

Is this what has caused poor drafts under Les Snead?

NFL Combine Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Being a general manager means getting to do things your way, assuming you don’t have an owner meddling in the plan everyday. For Detroit Lions GM Brad Holmes, that means that he gets to run a draft war room in the style and manner of his preference and this year he revealed that he doesn’t look at a depth chart before making his picks. Holmes would prefer to not be swayed by “needs” when making respective picks.

The former Rams director of college scouting revealed at his year’s owners meetings that he’s seen other teams do that without having as much success as they should have.

Holmes has only ever worked for the Rams before being hired by the Lions.

“I just think you can make a lot of mistakes with that,” Holmes said. “I’ve been in regimes in the past that have had a depth chart in the draft room, and I’ve just never been a fan of that.”

Later adding, “When you’re approaching the draft and you’re just looking to fill those question marks, fill those holes, I do think that that can equate to some mistakes.”

Holmes was hired by the Rams as a scouting assistant in 2003 and then worked his way up to director of college scouting in 2013, one year after Les Snead had been hired as the general manager alongside then head coach Jeff Fisher. It is safe to assume that the “regimes” that Holmes is talking about worked for the St. Louis or Los Angeles Rams.

It might also be safe to say that Holmes knew he didn’t have any power when he was a scout, so is it probable that he’s referring to the Snead drafting years when he worked for the Rams from 2013 and 2020 and was definitely a major part of the war room?

SI recently ran a study that ranked the Rams as having the worst direct draft return of any team in the NFL over the last five years. If you look at the last three years that Holmes worked for L.A. as the director of college scouting, the Rams made 28 picks, but only seven players remain on the team (Joe Noteboom, Brian Allen, Cam Akers, Van Jefferson, Bryce Hopkins, Jordan Fuller, Tremayne Anchrum) and by next year that number will be dramatically reduced.

Did the Rams pick running backs on day two in 2019 and 2020 because of need?

They sure haven’t picked any offensive linemen recently and they’ve needed those more than anything. But it seems that Snead was happy with the depth chart enough to not do that and now Holmes gets to run the show as he sees fit.

Since Holmes went to Detroit in 2021, the Lions have had a few of the best draft picks of the last two years, including Penei Sewell, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Aidan Hutchinson, Kerby Joseph, Malcolm Rodriguez, and James Houston.