Lions’ Brad Holmes Reveals What He’s Looking For In Cornerbacks

Brad Holmes, Lions, NFL
Feb 27, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Detroit Lions Executive Vice President and General Manager Brad Holmes talks to the media at the 2024 NFL Combine at Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions are coming off one of their best seasons in franchise history. They ran away with the NFC North in 2023 and advanced to the NFC Championship Game, where they were defeated by the San Francisco 49ers.

While the ending was disappointing, especially since the Lions held a 17-point lead in the second half, the season overall was a smashing success. Heading into the offseason, the team will have a chance to upgrade some of their weaknesses.

The Lions improved upon their defensive performance in 2023, but more strides are needed to be taken for the team to get to that next level. Arguably the biggest weakness the team is facing is on that side of the ball. 

NFL News & Rumors: Brad Holmes & Detroit Lions Updates

It is no secret that the Lions’ secondary could use some more work. They were aggressive in free agency last year, signing Cam Sutton, Emmanuel Moseley and C.J. Garnder-Johnson to shore things up in the backend. This offseason, the team is going to look to continue adding.

It is one position that general manager Brad Holmes has not dedicated a lot of draft capital to in his tenure with the franchise to this point. As pointed out by Colton Pouncy of The Athletic, Holmes hasn’t used a pick inside the top 100 on a cornerback yet. Ifeatu Melinfonwu was the closest, at No. 101 in the 2021 NFL Draft, but he has since been converted to safety.

It is easy to identify where an upgrade is needed, but pinpointing who could provide that kind of improvement takes a little more work. During the NFL Combine, Holmes revealed what he is looking for in a cornerback during the draft evaluation process.

“It’s confidence, it’s wiring,” Holmes said. “Those guys, I know the money-maker is ball production, and that’s first and foremost, but you’ve got to tackle, too. The more and more you see, when your corners are tackling, that can really define who you are on defense. Yeah, those guys, the really good ones, are hard to find.”

NFL News & Rumors: Brad Holmes & Detroit Lions Updates

Holmes knows cornerbacks and how to evaluate them as well as anyone. When he was working with the Los Angeles Rams as a scout, cornerback was the position he was tasked with cross-checking and reporting to the higher-ups.

That is likely why the Lions haven’t used early picks on any cornerbacks under Holmes. He knows what he is looking for and if a player doesn’t fit into that mold, he will look elsewhere to use his selection. With a need at the position this offseason, expect Holmes and his team to do their due diligence, seeing if any of this year’s prospects fit the mold of what he is seeking.

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