Brad Holmes ran the Los Angeles Rams' college scouting department for the last seven years before joining the Detroit Lions as their new general manager this offseason.
Holmes has spent the last 18 years in the NFL in various roles, but this is his first opportunity to be a GM.
Good executives, like good head coaches, surround themselves with talented people. In Holmes' case, that was bringing in assistant general manager Ray Agnew and senior personnel executive John Dorsey.
While Holmes was running the college side of the scouting department in Los Angeles the last seven years, Agnew was heading up the pro side.
Holmes and Agnew worked closely in both college and pro scouting, but there's an expertise Agnew has working directly on the pro side the last four seasons. Holmes tapped into that expertise by bringing Agnew to Detroit.
"He's just been an amazing, valuable asset," Holmes said of Agnew. "He's been able to – probably to sum it up – he's been able to make an even (more) accelerated process in terms of laying out what our vision is and what I've wanted to be the vision from a personnel standpoint.
"He's been excellent in that regard and it's been in line with what the culture is going to be in terms of what (head coach) Dan (Campbell) and I vowed to fulfill with Sheila's (Ford Hamp) vision for what the culture is.
"He's been an excellent fit from a culture standpoint. Obviously, with entering free agency preparation and his experience on the pro personnel side of things, he's been a tremendous value for someone as myself. So, that's been awesome."
Dorsey's been in the exact seat Holmes is in now with Kansas City (2013-16) and Cleveland (2017-19). Having that kind of experience to lean on is invaluable for Holmes. Dorsey certainly has an eye for young talent. He drafted both wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce, two of the Chiefs' best players, while GM in Kansas City. He also drafted quarterback Baker Mayfield, cornerback Denzel Ward and running back Nick Chubb in Cleveland. Holmes values that experience.
"Obviously, for someone like myself as a first-year GM, and what John's experience has been as a GM and his experience in team building and incredible ability to evaluate, he's been tremendous," Holmes said. "All the way from a big-picture standpoint and allowing himself to be a resource that I can lean on, all the way to the kind of more minute details of things that probably, I didn't even realize at first.
"I would even say what's been even more cool with John is that he's actually been able to share some experiences of what may have not worked for him. For him to share those things with me has been awesome."
The Lions want to see a collaborative effort from the front office to the coaching staff and throughout the entire organization. Both Holmes and Campbell have talked about not being afraid to surround themselves with smart people who can bring their own thoughts and ideas to the table.
"I can't speak enough to how great of a value and asset that those two men have been," Holmes said of Agnew and Dorsey. "On top of what the coaching staff has brought."