Brad Holmes was named the Lions Executive Vice President and General Manager on January 14, 2021. In his role, he oversees the Lions' football operations and reports directly to Principal Owner and Chair Sheila Ford Hamp and President and CEO Rod Wood.
Holmes joined the Lions after spending the previous 18 seasons with the Los Angeles Rams (2003-2020). In 2013, the Rams elevated Holmes to Director of College Scouting, where he was responsible for overseeing the team's college scouting operations for eight seasons.
Holmes' vision for leading the Lions has so far been founded on a collaborative approach with Head Coach Dan Campbell as the two began reshaping the roster in 2021. Placing an emphasis on players with grit, passion and football character, Holmes has begun the process of acquiring new talent and setting a foundation in his first two years as executive vice president and general manager.
The first month of Holmes' tenure led to a blockbuster trade with the Los Angeles Rams that resulted in the Lions acquiring QB Jared Goff, a 2021 third-round pick and two future first-round draft picks in exchange for QB Matthew Stafford. As the team entered free agency that year, Goff's arrival was met with a veteran group of new players who helped build the culture Holmes was looking for, including LB Alex Anzalone, WR Kalif Raymond, OLB Charles Harris and RB Jamaal Williams. Holmes also strategically arranged another trade with his former team to acquire veteran DL Michael Brockers and re-signed C Frank Ragnow to a multi-year contract extension, rounding out his comprehensive plan to enhance the Lions roster in his first season as the team's top personnel decision-maker.
His first offseason was capped off with one of the NFL's brightest and most productive draft classes, highlighted by the seventh overall pick T Penei Sewell out of Oregon. Sewell started 16 games as a rookie, splitting time between left and right tackle, and became the youngest player in NFL history to start a game at left tackle. WR Amon-Ra St. Brown (fourth round, 112th overall), set the Lions' all-time rookie record for receptions (90) and receiving yards (912), while DL Levi Onwuzurike (second round, 41st overall) and DL Alim McNeill (third round, 72nd overall) emerged as foundational pieces along the defensive line.
With one of the NFL's youngest rosters in 2021, 85 players saw the field for the Lions last season, tied for the third most in the NFL behind the Jets (87) and Titans (91). Ten different Lions rookies started a combined 69 games, and the Lions featured at least one rookie player on 100 percent of offensive snaps in 2021. The leadership from and Holmes and Campbell resulted in consistent player development throughout the year, as the Lions finished the season winning three of their final six games of the season – including a 30-12 statement win over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 15 and a 37-30 win over rival Green Bay in Week 18.
In 2022, Holmes re-signed key players Anzalone, Raymond and Harris after each produced career-best seasons within their first year in Detroit. Acquired midway through the 2021 season via waivers, WR Josh Reynolds also emerged as a big-play receiver and earned a contract extension in 2022. Holmes' top free agent acquisition in 2022 was WR DJ Chark, who signed as an unrestricted free agent after beginning his career as a second-round pick with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Holmes' 2022 draft class echoed his approach of investing in reliable, gritty players with the selection of DE Aidan Hutchinson (first round, second overall) and WR Jameson Williams (first round, 12th overall). Holmes strategically moved up 20 spots in the first round to acquire Williams, considered by many to be the fastest receiver in the 2022 draft class. Rounding out Holmes' draft class in 2022 was DE Josh Paschal (second round, 46th overall), S Kerby Joseph (third, round), TE James Mitchell (fifth round, 177th overall), LB Malcolm Rodriguez (sixth round, 188th overall), LB James Houston (sixth round, 217th overall) and CB Chase Lucas (seventh round, 237th overall).
During his tenure leading the Rams college scouting department, Holmes helped the Rams capture two NFC West titles en route to three playoff berths and an appearance in Super Bowl LIII. After originally joining the Rams in 2003 as a public relations intern, Holmes transitioned into scouting and spent nearly two decades in a variety of roles within the organization's player personnel department, including NFS scout, area scout, national Combine scout and scouting assistant.
In his previous role, Holmes collaborated with the Rams' personnel directors to improve technological resources and enhance overall scouting procedures. While holding a prominent leadership role in the player personnel department from 2013-20, Holmes helped the Rams achieve a 64-58 record (.524), while having a total of 25 players named to the Pro Bowl during that span. He played an integral role in drafting several key players on the Rams' current roster, including DT Aaron Donald, QB Jared Goff, WR Cooper Kupp and S John Johnson. Holmes was also instrumental in helping the Rams acquire All-Pro CB Jalen Ramsey via trade in 2019.
A Tampa, Fla. native, Holmes graduated cum laude from North Carolina A&T State University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Mass Communications and was a four-year letterman for the Aggies at defensive tackle. He was voted team captain and helped A&T win the 1999 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and Black College Football National Championship.
Holmes is the son of Melvin Holmes, who played offensive line for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1971-73, and is also the nephew of former Lions defensive back Luther Bradley (1978 first-round pick). He is married to his wife, Lisa, and together they have two children.