On Thursday night, the Detroit Lions will make their first draft pick under new GM Brad Holmes. The consensus amongst Lions fans is that team is in a great position. And there is a good reason for them to believe that. With three quarterbacks projected as the top three picks, the Lions will have several options at their disposal. They can either pick one of the several viable options at No. 7 or potentially trade down to a later position and acquire more talent.
So essentially, the Detroit Lions are in a “win-win” scenario. After all, there is no way they could mess up this pick.
Or is there?
And that is going back-to-back years drafting a cornerback in the first round. Both mock drafts from McIntyre and Edwards project the Lions will select Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II. However, despite both predicting Surtain will land with the Lions, their scenarios are different. On McIntyre’s mock draft, he predicts the Lions will draft Surtain at No. 7.
Now Edwards’ mock draft is a tad bit different. He predicts a trade between the Lions and the New England Patriots. Under his scenario, the Patriots would trade a future first-round draft pick and the No.1 5 from this year to move up to No. 7. The trade would allow the Patriots to select Trey Lance from North Dakota State, presumably a successor to Cam Newton after this season.
Edwards provides a sound argument for the Lions trading down.
Despite that, like McIntyre, predicting the Lions taking a cornerback is scary.
And Brad Holmes opened up this door to wonder if they would.
Holmes’ pre-draft presser could either be a smokescreen or a cause for concern.
When Detroit Lions GM Brad Holmes took the podium last Friday afternoon, fans clamored to hear competence in the Lions’ front office finally. At least before a draft, anyway.
Holmes delivered that.
Nonetheless, he opened Pandora’s Box at the same time. And just so we’re clear, Pandora’s Box, in this case, is the Lions drafting a cornerback with a top ten selection in consecutive drafts.
During the presser, Holmes answered a question regarding reservations about drafting a wide receiver or tight end early in the draft, based on the team’s previous draft history.
Holmes’ reply started well.
“No, not at all. I wasn’t even saying that in a negative sense of past picks; I was just saying that there have been past picks that have been high picks at (those) positions,” said Holmes.
“But no, it does not. I think you’ve got to approach every single player in its own silo and then the same thing with every single position.”
There is nothing wrong with how Holmes answered the first part of this question. The head-scratcher is the remarks that followed it.
“So, if it’s a corner that we really, really like, that’s just the corner that we really, really like and think is a great fit. It’s not to compare him to Jeff Okudah, or it’s not to do anything like that if there’s any other position that we’re really, really high on. It’s just that we’re excited,” said Holmes.
“To have part of our franchise, we don’t kind of look at it and say, ‘Well, we already have this player and how this player has had success or not have had success.’ We take it all case by case, but I think that’s good drafting, to make sure the players can kind of paint their own picture.”
To quote the great Stone Cold Steve Austin, “WHAT?”
Selecting a cornerback with a first-rounder this year would be a disaster.
There are several ways to view how Brad Holmes ended the above question. One is that he used Okudah as an example to drive home a point. And that point is if “their guy” is available when it’s time to pick, they’re selecting him, despite how unpopular it might be.
However, there is a flipside to this coin.
The flip side is that Brad Holmes could take a page out of former GM Bob Quinn’s book, telegraphing whom they’re selecting at No. 7 this year. After all, Holmes’ remarks are the only logical reason why Jason McIntyre and Josh Edwards would have the Lions drafting back-to-back cornerbacks.
Regardless of which direction they decide, if the Detroit Lions select Patrick Surtain, expect mutiny from the Lions’ fanbase.