Detroit general manager Brad Holmes enters the 2022 season with two offseasons now under his belt as Lions GM. And, over time, he's received a multitude of positive reviews for his work, especially for his first two drafts as an NFL general manager.
But, where does he rank among his peers in the NFC North?
Without further ado, here are my rankings of the general managers in the division.
4.) Minnesota Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah
Adofo-Mensah took over the Vikings' GM post earlier this year, replacing longtime Minnesota general manager Rick Spielman.
Adofo-Mensah was aggressive in his first draft with the Vikings this past April, making a league-high six deals. One of those trades was for the Lions' No. 32 overall selection, which led to Detroit moving up 20 spots to take standout Alabama receiver Jameson Williams at No. 12 overall. And, with that No. 32 pick, the Vikings took Georgia safety Lewis Cine. Adofo-Mensah & Co. then doubled up on defensive backs when they selected Clemson cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. at No. 42 overall.
3.) Chicago Bears GM Ryan Poles
Poles was hired as Bears GM earlier this year, and immediately proved that he was punting on the 2022 season and aiming to rebuild the team's roster. The move that clearly signaled Poles' intent to rebuild was his trade of EDGE rusher Khalil Mack to the Los Angeles Chargers. It landed the Bears two draft picks, including a second-rounder in the 2022 draft that Poles and Chicago's front office used on Penn State safety Jaquan Brisker. It was the second of two straight defensive back selections for the Bears in this past April's draft, with the first having been highly-touted Washington cornerback Kyler Gordon at No. 39 overall.
With that said, Poles & Co. had a strong Day 2 at the draft, and could be headed in the right direction with their rebuild (which also will depend on Justin Fields' development under center). It's why Poles gets the No. 3 spot in my NFC North GM rankings.
2.) Lions GM Brad Holmes
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Surprisingly enough, Holmes is now the second-longest-tenured GM in the division, having been hired by the Lions as Bob Quinn's replacement in January of 2021. He got to business right away, too, by trading away franchise icon Matthew Stafford to Holmes' former team, the Los Angeles Rams, for Jared Goff, two first-round picks and a third-rounder.
He hasn't stopped wheeling and dealing since, having just completed an NFL Draft in which he traded up 20 spots to land Alabama wideout Jameson Williams at No. 12. And, that came after picking Michigan standout pass rusher Aidan Hutchinson at No. 2 overall.
Holmes has made it a point of emphasis to build through the draft, and has come away with solid drafts in his first two years as general manager. Last year's first-rounder Penei Sewell, along with Hutchinson and Williams, could end up being franchise cornerstones for the Lions for years to come.
1.) Green Bay Packers GM Brian Gutekunst
Gutekunst is the longest-tenured general manager in the NFC North, having taken over the Packers post in 2018.
He's presided over three straight division championships, and was also responsible for firing Mike McCarthy and tabbing former Central Michigan assistant Matt LaFleur to be his replacement. And all that LaFleur has done is lead the Packers to three consecutive 13-win campaigns and playoff appearances.
So, it was easy to anoint Gutekunst, a former Green Bay scout, as the best GM in the division.