Skip to main content

Draft Coverage

Presented by

KEY QUESTIONS: How does Holmes feel about Lions' depth at CB following NFL Draft?

GM Brad Holmes put a bow on the 2024 NFL Draft after the Lions made four selections on Saturday to give them a three-day haul of six picks total. The work for Holmes and the Lions certainly isn't over as they hit the phones after the draft to try and sign undrafted players to the roster.

Holmes addressed the media Saturday and started by acknowledging the amazing job the city did hosting the draft and the record-breaking attendance it saw.

He then addressed all the key questions from the media, as follows:

How did the Lions come across Giovanni Manu out of the University of British Columbia and what do they like about his potential?

Holmes traded a third-round pick next season to get Manu. He credited Senior Personnel Director John Dorsey with getting the train rolling on that evaluation.

"He kind of got wind of – he had a really good workout and he kind of got on the workout circuit, and really starting back with (Lions Scout, Auxiliary) Ademi Smith who scouted him and then Dorsey finds out about the workout, and Dorsey and (Lions Assistant General Manager) Ray (Agnew) talk and Ray comes to me and he's telling me like, 'Man, I think you've probably got to take a look at Giovanni here,'" Holmes said.

Holmes watched the tape and loved the physical traits at 6-foot-7, 351 pounds but with athletic traits that would have put him in the 90 percentile among tackles at the Combine.

"We just kind of got enamored with the upside and then when we reached out to his agent and tried to get him in for a visit because he wasn't at the Combine, we could hardly get on the dance card," he said.

"The whole dance card was filled up. So, he came in on a Sunday, like a Sunday afternoon and that was like visit number nine. He came in and he did a great job and sat with the coaches, and we felt really good about him. We talked about Brodric Martin last year. This is more of a down-the-road future deal, but the upside is enormous."

Where do they see the versatile Sione Vaki contributing the most early on?

Vaki played safety at Utah and was a core special teamer before being pressed into running back duty where he had 42 carries for 317 yards and two touchdowns, while catching 11 passes for 203 yards and three scores.

Special teams are a big deal in Detroit and that likely played a factor in this selection with the new kickoff rules being implemented this year.

Vaki has 'backyard' football instincts, as Holmes described it, and he's a player who can come in and play a number of different roles.

"Yeah, well that's what first stood out is we thought he was one of the better special teams players in this entire Draft, all four phases of special teams," Holmes said.

"Especially with some of the changes that are coming about, he's really – he's starting to come to life even more. But he's a very unique player. Again, it's nothing saying that he cannot play safety, but our vision of what he could become as a runner, really it starts with those special teams."

What does Holmes think of the depth at cornerback after adding Terrion Arnold and Ennis Rakestraw Jr. at the position with their first two picks?

Competition breeds success in the NFL and there's going to be no shortage of it in that room with veterans Carlton Davis, Amik Robertson, Emmanuel Moseley, Kindle Vildor and others joining the newbies in the competition.

"They've got to win a spot, you know, because Carlton Davis III has been a proven starter," Holmes said. "A healthy Emmanuel Moseley is a proven starter. Amik Robertson is a proven – like these are good players that have been proven starters that've made plays.

"They all want to play, they're all wired right, but man look, it's good to be there from a roster standpoint. If these corners play, they play. They've got to win a spot, and that's for everybody."

Was Holmes shocked Christian Mahogany was still on the board in the sixth round at No. 210?

"I was shocked," he said. "I didn't think he would still be there at that point. I can't really go into details. I can probably point out a thing here or there that may have been a reason that we'll keep internally, but there's other players that I probably would have had a lot more questions on that went.

"I don't know. I just know that he fits how we want to play, and he's a tough, physical – he's got some dirtbag in him and he's just one of those tough, Jersey kids that doesn't take a lot of crap. He's got some fun tape to watch and he's gone against some good defensive linemen and he's done well versus them. So, we were excited to get him."

What did Holmes think of the football character Mekhi Wingo brings to the table?

Wingo was a team captain for LSU, which says a lot about his mental makeup and leadership qualities. He rehabbed to return for LSU's bowl game, something not a lot of prospects headed to the NFL do.

"That's the type of guy that I am," he said. "Being that No. 18 and being that leader I had the injury earlier throughout the year and didn't feel like I got my full '18' season.

"Of course I could have just packed it up but it really got to me, watching my team lose a few games with me on the sidelines, so once I had my surgery I was rehabbing my butt off and made an emphasis to really get back on the field to be with my guys one last time."

Wingo was awarded the No. 18 jersey at LSU, which is worn by the player who best represents the traits and spirit that 'defines LSU greatness.'

"I would say that you're right on the football character aspect," Holmes said. "I mean this guy fits our culture like a glove. Great kid. Look, it's hard to lock down that No. 18 at LSU – that just means something. I think his character speaks for itself. His football character shows on film too, the way that he plays."

What did Holmes have to say about the Amon-Ra St. Brown and Penei Sewell extensions?

"It meant everything," he said. "First of all, I'm so happy for them. Those guys are truly our core. Those guys truly are our foundation. They were our first Draft. But the main thing that I've been saying to everybody is it represents not only a testament to all the hard work that they've done, but it's such a representation of who we are as an organization in terms of man they earned that. They earned that. We're all about earning it. We're not expecting a shortcut here or there, and man all the credit to them. Extremely happy."

Related Content