Detroit Lions’ decision to pass on QB in 2021 NFL Draft keeps paying off

The 2021 NFL Draft quarterback class is a mess, and it’s only making Lions GM Brad Holmes look smarter.

Chấm điểm mọi quyết định đáng chú ý trong sự nghiệp của GM Brad Holmes của Detroit Lions - Pride Of Detroit

Back in 2021 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions were facing a fork in the road at the very early stages of a new regime. With coach Dan Campbell and general manager Brad Holmes just a few weeks on the job, they had an incredible difficult decision to make at the most important position in football.

With Matthew Stafford not willing to go through another rebuild, the easy decision was to trade him and acquire draft assets. Holmes did that well, acquiring a draft haul above most estimates.

But immediately, he faced another conundrum. Holmes made sure to get a quarterback in return for Stafford, acquiring former first overall pick Jared Goff, but were the Lions going to build a future around him? A quarterback who lost the support of his previous team and finished his last two seasons with the Los Angeles Rams with just an 88.1 passer rating? Or would he use his draft assets on a quarterback class that looked to be stacked?

In 2021, the Lions held the seventh overall pick, a pair of third-round picks, and future extra first round picks in the 2022 and 2023 draft. If they wanted to grab a quarterback, they could have. Holmes did his homework on the draft class, but when draft day came along, the Lions patiently waited for the board to fall to them, avoided grabbing a quarterback, and ended up with one of the best players in the entire draft: offensive tackle Penei Sewell.

Tân binh Penei Sewell của Detroit Lions tiếp tục chơi như một trong những tay tắc bóng hàng đầu giải đấu -

This first—but critical—decision from Holmes and company has proven to be one of their best. Thus far, the 2021 NFL Draft quarterback class has been a disaster. Of the first five taken, only Trevor Lawrence remains with his original team. Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, Justin Fields, and Mac Jones have all been traded away from the team that originally drafted them and are projected to be backups in 2024.

Meanwhile, Goff has ascended back to the levels he played at when he was at his peak in Los Angeles. Sewell is already an All Pro and considered one of the best tackles in football. The draft capital that Detroit saved by not forcing a trade up for a quarterback has turned into the likes of Aidan Hutchinson, Jameson Williams, Jahmyr Gibbs, and Jack Campbell.

This could not have been an easy decision at the time. There was certainly pressure from the media to get a quarterback both in 2021 and 2022, and with the draft resources they had, they had their choice at many of the top options.

At the end of the 2023 season, Holmes did his victory lap during his end-of-season press conference. And what decision did he point to first as setting the standard for the current state of the franchise?

“I’ll go back to the 2021 Draft,” Holmes said. “So, the ’21 Draft, each pick from that draft was very intentional. And the reason why I go back to that draft, couple reasons. For one, it was 2021. We just finished the 2023 season, so that’s when you’re supposed to grade a draft. Not the day after a draft. But when you look back at those picks and those picks were not welcome by many in this room. You wanted us to pick a quarterback. You didn’t want us to pick Penei Sewell.”

While that is slight revisionist history on what most media thought at the time, it’s still a decision that Holmes has every right to be proud about.

Related Posts

Mike McCarthy discusses what he expects from Ezekiel Elliott

UDFA QB John Rhys Plumlee Reveals Why He Chose Steelers

With John Rhys Plumlee seeing action at wide receiver at UCF, there was speculation that he could play wide receiver in the NFL, but he put that…

Zach Frazier explains wearing No. 54 with Pittsburgh Steelers

Zach Frazier can’t help his toughness. It’s embedded in his soul. The Steelers rookie loved Pittsburgh’s physical style of play when he was growing up in West Virginia….

Vikings’ Kevin O’Connell Strikes Down Scrutiny Facing Rookie J.J. McCarthy

Thіѕ ѕtаɡe of the NFL offѕeаѕon іѕ fіlled wіth hіɡhlіɡhtѕ аnd lowlіɡhtѕ of pаdleѕѕ prаctіceѕ — whіch Mіnneѕotа Vіkіnɡѕ coаch Kevіn O’Connell аrɡued to not reаd too…

Justin Simmons has 1 classy request to fans about Broncos rookie

The Denver Broncoѕ hаve ɡotten themѕelveѕ іnto а trіcky cаp ѕіtuаtіon. Denver trаded ѕіɡnіfіcаnt аѕѕetѕ for QB Ruѕѕell Wіlѕon from the Seаttle Seаhаwkѕ two yeаrѕ аɡo. The…

Coveted Free Agent Receiver Turned Down Kansas City Chiefs

Zаy Joneѕ ѕіɡned wіth the Arіzonа Cаrdіnаlѕ on Frіdаy, but before joіnіnɡ the Cаrdіnаlѕ on а one-yeаr deаl, he hаd drаwn іntereѕt from the Kаnѕаѕ Cіty Chіefѕ….