Detroit Lions landed 4 of their top 14 ranked players in 2023 NFL Draft

If you had said heading into the 2023 NFL Draft that the Detroit Lions would select a running back and linebacker with their first two picks, just about everybody would have thought you were crazy. But that is exactly what Lions GM Brad Holmes did when he selected RB Jahmyr Gibbs with the No. 12 pick and LB Jack Campbell with the No. 18 pick in the opening round. Following those picks, Holmes made it pretty clear that when it comes to evaluating players, he does not really care about what anyone else outside of the Lions' War Room thinks. Now, a report has surfaced that the Lions only had first-round grades on 14 players, and they landed four of them.

Brad Holmes 2023 NFL Draft Detroit Lions Jared Goff C.J. Gardner-Johnson Detroit Lions 2023 NFL Draft Grades

Key Points

  • The Lions strategically drafted players with first-round grades
  • The report reveals that the Lions disregarded external opinions and focused on their own assessments of players. They were confident in their evaluation process and were not swayed by outside criticisms or rankings.
  • Out of the 14 players the Lions had given a first-round grade, they successfully drafted four of them, including Gibbs, Campbell, LaPorta, and Alabama DB Brian Branch.

Detroit Lions landed 4 of their top 14 ranked players in 2023 NFL Draft

According to a report from Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, the Lions only had 14 players with first-round grades, and four of those players were players they ended up drafting.

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From Sports Illustrated:

Well, we’ve got another piece of context for you, as an addendum to our lead on the Lions landing in the NFL opener. It turns out Detroit had only 14 players with first-round grades in the entire draft class. Gibbs, Campbell and LaPorta were three of them. A fourth was Alabama DB Brian Branch, and the Lions used a fifth-round pick to move up from 48 to 45 to get him.

So, yeah, the Lions don’t really care what people think about their draft. Because as they saw it, they wound up with four of the top 14 players in the whole class.

Bottom Line: The Detroit Lions march to the beat of their own drum

By strategically drafting players with first-round grades according to their own evaluations, Lions GM Brad Holmes demonstrated a disregard for external opinions. The recent report revealing that the Lions only had 14 players with first-round grades further highlights their confidence in their assessment process. Landing four of their top-ranked players, including Jahmyr Gibbs, Jack Campbell, LaPorta, and Brian Branch, showcases the Lions' ability to secure top talent based on their own criteria. This bold and independent strategy exemplifies the Lions' commitment to building a team according to their own vision, regardless of outside perceptions.

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