Lions' Holmes aware of team's history in first round, but it won't dictate his own plans

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

When it comes to selecting in the top 10, the Detroit Lions haven't always followed conventional wisdom.

That includes a stretch of five years where the team drafted four wide receivers. Also, in the past decade, the Lions are the only franchise to draft a tight end that early, doing so twice. And last year, the Lions were the first team to take a cornerback inside the first three picks in 20 years. 

That history isn't lost on rookie general manager Brad Holmes. 

The Lions selected tight end T.J. Hockenson with the No. 8 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

"Oh yeah, absolutely, we're very, very mindful of the former picks that we've had at all positions," Holmes said on Friday. "Starting with wide receiver, I mean, I know there's been a history of wide receivers that have been selected fairly high. So, you do take a look at that, you know? Tight end, we have a high pick as a tight end right now, so you definitely look at all those options." 

There were plenty of misfires with those seven selections, but not all of them were duds. In fact, you can easily argue they were rewarded for not being dissuaded by previous mistakes.

After Charles Rogers, Mike Williams and Roy Williams failed to meet expectations, the Lions hit a home run when they took Calvin Johnson No. 2 overall in 2007. And whether you still don't believe tight end was the right choice in 2019, after the Eric Ebron debacle a few years earlier, T.J. Hockenson has quickly developed into a Pro Bowl player with plenty of room for his production to continue to grow. 

So while Holmes acknowledges Detroit's past, and how some of those picks shape the current roster, it won't influence his own draft plans. 

"Not at all," he said. "I think you’ve got to approach every single player in its own silo and then the same thing with every single position. 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.

"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.”

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers