Skip to main content

TWENTYMAN: 5 takeaways from 2024 NFL Draft

The 2024 NFL Draft is in the books.

GM Brad Holmes and the Detroit Lions – like 31 other NFL teams around the league – feel like this past weekend allowed them the opportunity to add some young players to their roster that make them a much better football team.

"We couldn't be more thrilled with the guys that we got," Holmes said after the draft on Saturday.

Here are my five biggest takeaways from draft weekend:


After taking cornerbacks Terrion Arnold and Ennis Rakestraw Jr. with his first two picks in the first and second rounds, Holmes said he's been trying to add youth to that position and build for the future since he arrived in 2021, but it just hasn't really worked out until now.

With Brian Branch, Arnold and Rakestraw at cornerback, the future looks very bright at the position. For now, the addition of these two rookie cornerbacks means the competition is going to ramp up for starting positions, gameday roles and even roster spots. Holmes referred to the upcoming competition as a 'bloodbath.'

It's a nice mix in that room with veteran experience like Carlton Davis, Branch, Amik Robertson, Emmanuel Moseley and Kindle Vildor., along with young up and coming talent.

For the first time in Holmes' tenure, he's got a trio of young cornerbacks he feels good about being the future of the position in Detroit.


It's something both Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell talk about all the time. They love position and skillset versatility. Looking at this class of Lions picks there's a ton of it across the board.

It starts with both Arnold and Rakestraw, who have experience playing both outside and in the slot and will likely be cross-trained at both early on.

Fourth-round pick Sione Vaki was arguably the most versatile player in the entire draft. He was a finalist for the Hornung Award, given to college football's most versatile player after playing safety, running back and being a core special teamer for Utah. He comes to Detroit as a running back, but he'll likely be a core special teamer very early.

Sixth-round pick Mekhi Wingo played up and down LSU's defensive line. I had senior producer at NFL Films Greg Cosell break down Detroit's draft earlier this week and he said this about Wingo:

"Wingo lined up in multiple positions in LSU's defensive front including 3-technique and 2i in the 4-man fronts and 4i and 4-technique in the 5-man fronts," Cosell wrote. "There were also snaps at 0-technique and at times in 3rd down sub fronts he aligned at wide 9 DE."


Holmes said he left Allen Park after Day 2 of the Draft Friday and didn't expect to move up as much as he did in Day 3, but when he woke up Saturday morning, he said there were two players he really wanted to walk away from the draft getting.

"So, when I finally got to the facility and I went to Dan (Campbell) and I said, 'Dan, dude, these two guys.' And I told him the two guys and he was like, 'Those are the same two guys that I was thinking about this morning,'" Holmes said.

"And I was like, 'Let's go get them. Let's not mess around.' You always get the answers to the test after you pick them, and if we would've waited around, they weren't going to make it."

Those two players were University of British Columbia tackle Giovanni Manu and Vaki.

Holmes and Campbell have been in lock step in the way they've built this roster and the culture, and Saturday was just another example of that.


Sometimes it's easy to overlook a position of strength like Detroit's offensive line that steps up week after week and performs at an elite level. That unit has been doing that for the better part of three seasons now.

Holmes added Pro Bowl right guard Kevin Zeitler in free agency after losing Jonah Jackson to the Rams. He also re-signed consistent veteran Graham Glasgow to play left guard. With Taylor Decker at left tackle, All-Pro Frank Ragnow at center and All-Pro Penei Sewell at right tackle, the Lions have arguably the top offensive line in football heading into 2024. Kayode Awosika is a proven backup along the interior and Dan Skipper has shown the ability to be a good swing tackle and spot starter when needed.

Still, Holmes traded a third-round pick next year to move up and draft Manu. He also moved up to take Boston College guard Christian Mahogany in the sixth round. Manu has tantalizing size and athleticism. Holmes said Mahogany has some 'dirtbag' in his game, which certainly fits the mindset of that room.

Continuing to add depth and having the future in mind is how Detroit will keep the offensive line a strength of this football team for years to come.

View photos from offseason workouts on Monday, April 29, 2024.


Detroit broke the all-time attendance record for the NFL Draft with 775,000 people attending the three-day event downtown.

Kudos to all those with the Lions organization and the City of Detroit who put on an event of that magnitude without a glitch. Everyone I talked to who attended couldn't say enough good things about the draft footprint and the Lions activation space.

It made me think, what might a Super Bowl championship parade look like in Detroit?

Related Content