Lions reportedly tab Rams personnel director Brad Holmes as next GM

The Detroit Lions reportedly have hired Los Angeles Rams director of college scouting Brad Holmes as their next general manager, according to multiple reports.

Yahoo Sports confirmed that Holmes, who was the only candidate for the Lions’ job to have multiple interviews with the team, will receive a five-year contract. He’ll replace Bob Quinn, who was fired last year as the Lions’ GM.

The 41-year-old Holmes has spent his entire NFL career with the Rams, first breaking in with the franchise in St. Louis in 2003 as a public relations intern, working his way up the team’s hierarchy. After breaking into the scouting department the following year, Holmes later rose to his director position in 2013.

Holmes spoke with Yahoo Sports in 2019 to talk about his scouting philosophies, telling us then that his ultimate goal was to be a general manager.

“That's an ultimate goal for sure,” Holmes said. “It takes time and it takes luck, too. You just try to make as much of both as you can with hard work and preparation along the way.”

Brad Holmes of the Los Angeles Rams during the third round of the NFL Draft from the Rams War Room, Friday, April 27, 2018, in Thousand Oaks, CA. (Jeff Lewis/Rams)
Brad Holmes of the Los Angeles Rams during the third round of the NFL draft from the Rams' war room in 2018. (Jeff Lewis/Rams)

One other candidate who was considered a potential finalist for the position was New Orleans Saints assistant GM Terry Fontenot, but he never had a second meeting with the Lions. There also was a report that the Lions had reached out to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Kevin Colbert for the position. Holmes also was a finalist for the Atlanta Falcons’ vacant GM position.

An Atlanta native, Holmes is the son of former Steelers offensive lineman Mel Holmes and the nephew of former Lions first-round draft pick Luther Bradley. Holmes was a defensive lineman at North Carolina A&T from 1998-2001, winning a national title and earning the honor of team captain.

Rams GM Les Snead has been openly promoting Holmes as a terrific GM candidate in recent years. In his role as scouting director, Holmes has been in the co-pilot’s seat for the Rams’ past eight drafts alongside Snead.

Although the team has traded many of its first-round picks to acquire veterans and land QB Jared Goff in a pre-draft trade, the Rams’ success rate in the draft has been strong, notably in picks such as Aaron Donald, Todd Gurley, Cooper Kupp and Rob Havenstein.

The Lions face several key decisions, including the selecting of a new head coach, the future of Matthew Stafford, the contract status of Kenny Golladay and finding ways to compete in their division, which they have not won since 1993.

When Holmes got his start in scouting, he likened it to being pushed into the deep end of the pool.

“It’s just a blank slate, and you just figure it all out,” Holmes told Yahoo Sports. “That’s what you get paid for. You get paid for your opinion. It’s like getting thrown into the deep end of the pool and you gotta get out.”

The Lions have been in the deep end more often than not in recent years. They’re coming off a 5-11 season and have won the same number of games (14) in the past three seasons combined that the AFC-leading Kansas City Chiefs won this season.

Detroit last made the postseason in 2016 and has three playoff appearances over the past 21 seasons.

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