Dan Campbell: 'This Is an Offensive Draft'

Campbell points out that 2024 Draft is loaded with offensive talent.
Oct 21, 2023; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. (11) celebrates.
Oct 21, 2023; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. (11) celebrates. / Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports
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The NFL Draft could see a record number of offensive players drafted in the first round.

The current record for the most offensive players selected is 19, which has happened three seperate times. Picking at the back end of the first round this season, the Detroit Lions know there could be a long run on offensive players.

For coach Dan Campbell, it has made evaluating the Draft class an interesting process. The Lions have one of the best offenses in the league, but could seek to add even more talent to the unit.

“Look, there’s good players all through this Draft just like any. It’s just a matter of where they’re at, how long is it gonna take for them to develop? I know that if you get one of these players in the top-15, you’re gonna get a heck of a player," Campbell told 97.1 The Ticket Wednesday. "After that, there’s a good little run there of potential starters. Guys you think can come in, compete to start, grow into it. There’s a couple of areas that are heavier than others, but we also know those will go pretty fast. This is an offensive draft, there’s more offensive players than defensive players overall at the top of this.” 

In the past, the Lions have picked at the top of the first round. This has given Campbell and general manager Brad Holmes the opportunity to hone in on a smaller number of prospects in anticipation of picking early.

However, he has come to the realization that a number of the players that the team likes could be off the board by the time they take the podium at 29.

“It’s interesting every year. You go through this process, you find these guys you really like, they fit you, and then you’re just gonna watch them fly right off the board," Campbell explained. "When it’s all said and done, all the leg work you did and you realize it’s like, man, all those guys you thought you really liked, it’s not as many as you thought after the other 31 teams pick through every Draft. That’s the nature of it. All we’ve got to do is find the guys that we like when it comes time for us to pick.” 

Holmes is 'a machine'

Heading into his fourth Draft as general manager of the Lions, Brad Holmes has developed a reputation as one of the league's best drafters.

This success has come as a result of his meticulous work ethic throughout the pre-draft process. With a background in college scouting, Holmes seems to take pride in the effort that it takes to identify best fits for the organization.

Campbell praised Holmes' work ethic throughout the process Wednesday, indicating that the GM has continued to work the phones in the hours leading up to the Draft.

"Most of the hay is in the barn. I would say most of the leg-work's done. Now Brad, Brad continues to reach out and have the open communication with different teams at times, teams call him," Campbell said. "That's just the nature of every Draft. It always is about flexibility, the ability to move if needed. Those things are just the nature of the business no matter where you're at. For me, it's much easier and the hay is in the barn. For Brad, it never ends. He is non-stop. This guy's unbelievable. He's a machine, he's a machine."

Christian Booher