Burning Question: Will Lions Be Draft Winners?

Will the Lions replicate 2023 Draft success?
Jan 14, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions running back Jahmyr Gibbs (26).
Jan 14, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions running back Jahmyr Gibbs (26). / David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports
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Since taking over as the Detroit Lions' general manager, Brad Holmes has wasted no time establishing himself as one of the best drafters in the league.

He'll have an opportunity to prove his mettle once again on Thursday, when the NFL Draft kicks off with the first round live from Detroit. With the event coming up so close, it's worth evaluating whether or not the Lions will be winners of the 2024 Draft.

Holmes has a very high hit rate with his picks over the last three seasons, with the 2023 class being his best of the first three years. Last year, each of his first four picks were starters and two earned Pro Bowl honors in their rookie campaigns.

In fact, Holmes has made a total of 23 selections in his three years as GM. Of all his picks, only defensive back Chase Lucas is on another roster currently. Jermar Jefferson spent last year on the practice squad, while every other player that Holmes has picked remains on the team's roster.

In a league with plenty of annual turnover, the fact that Holmes has drafted a roster that maintains continuity is worth applauding. It's also evidence that his decision making should be trusted during the Draft.

The Lions are in a new situation this year as far as the location of their pick, as they are set to have the 29th overall selection in the first round. Should the Lions hold onto the pick and make the selection, it would mark the latest selection that Holmes has made in the first round.

Because the team has such a late pick, their counterparts across the league could come knocking with a deal to trade with the Lions' first-rounder in exchange for day two capital. A team like the Las Vegas Raiders could try to move past other quarterback needy teams in the second round and secure a player on a fifth-year option in the first.

Even if the Lions do not make a pick on the first night, they could still find a way to make the most of their situation. Holmes, unlike many decision makers, prioritizes cultural fit and talent over positional need.

This led to the team striking gold with Jahmyr Gibbs, a selection that was polarizing and drew ire at the time but turned out to be an excellent move.

The 2024 Draft also carries a bit more weight, as it will be held in Detroit and comes on the heels of the most memorable season in Lions' history. With that, the pressure is on for the organization to strike gold once again.

The Lions will enter the weekend with seven total picks. The team does not have a fourth-round selection, while they have two sixth-round picks to start. Based on history, though, the Lions will do some dealing throughout the weekend.

As Holmes pointed out in his end-of-season press conference earlier in the offseason, it will take time to truly evaluate whether or not the Lions' 2024 Draft class is a hit. However, Holmes could add another win should he pick at least one early impact player.

Christian Booher