Brad Holmes praises the value of the ‘lone wolf’ in the draft evaluation process

One of the big selling points in the Lions hiring process for GM Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell back in 2021 was their strong commitment to consensus building. The team-building process is a collaborative effort between the coaches, scouts and front office.

So far, that willingness to listen to different voices in the draft process has served the Lions very well. Yet sometimes, the consensus isn’t always an easy arrival. Holmes called it being a lone wolf, and discussed why he likes not having universal agreement on every prospect or choice.

In his pre-draft press conference, Holmes talked about one situation in the 2023 draft where he and Campbell were out on their own against the rest of the draft room consensus.

“Sometimes I am the lone wolf. I might be the lone wolf. I’ll tell you, me and Dan (Campbell) were the lone wolves on a player that we took last year and it worked out. We loved the player. The rest of the group was like, ‘No, no, no, get this guy,’ at the same position.”

Holmes refused a later request to identify which player he and Campbell were the lone wolves on. He did elaborate more on the value of having dissenting voices and opinions in the draft process.

“So, if I am the lone wolf and everybody else is completely different than me, no one really knows what I think and I am listening to everybody, I am like, ‘Man, I need to go back and look. I missed something,’ and I have the confidence and the humility to do that because I have so much respect for the process. It’s an art form.”

Holmes continued,

“The best thing about scouting is you get 20 people, 10 people, however many, looking at the same film in a dark room and you have 10 different opinions. That’s what’s awesome about it.”

The GM has the humility and balance to understand the checks and balances in place to prevent a lone wolf from being a rogue wolf.

“So, when I am the lone wolf, and everybody is the opposite, I am like, ‘Man, I need to look back and see if I missed something.’ If hear the lone wolf that matched up with what I thought, I am like, ‘Well, at least that person saw it, but everybody else still was the same.’ It just depends – but if I saw something that the rest of the group said, and the lone wolf said something different, oh, damn right I am going to go back and look and see because that person is in the room for a reason and I have got a lot of respect for that person’s evaluations,” Holmes concluded.


Story originally appeared on Lions Wire