Lions Rumors: Brad Holmes Favored to Become New GM After Broncos' Paton Hire

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJanuary 13, 2021

Detroit Lions helmets are seen during the second half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)
Kamil Krzaczynski/Associated Press

Los Angeles Rams director of college scouting Brad Holmes is now the "favorite" to become the general manager of the Detroit Lions, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Minnesota Vikings assistant general manager George Paton signed a reported six-year deal with the Denver Broncos on Wednesday to become their new GM, taking him out of the running for the Lions job.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that Holmes was doing a second interview with the Lions on Wednesday and that Paton "had been a strong candidate in Detroit."

Rapoport added that New Orleans Saints director of pro scouting Terry Fontenot is also a finalist for the Lions' GM gig. 

According to ESPN's Michael Rothstein, the Lions have also interviewed the following candidates for the position:

  • Indianapolis Colts assistant general manager Ed Dodds
  • Saints vice president and assistant general manager Jeff Ireland
  • Former Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff
  • Former Houston Texans general manager Rick Smith
  • Former Kansas City Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli
  • ESPN analyst Louis Riddick
  • Lions vice president of player personnel Kyle O'Brien
  • Lions director of pro scouting Rob Lohman
  • Lions director of player personnel Lance Newmark. 

Holmes has served as the Rams director of college scouting for eight seasons, helping to select key players such as Aaron Donald, Todd Gurley II, Jared Goff, Cooper Kupp, John Johnson III, Tyler Higbee and Jordan Fuller.

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"He's become a valued voice in our organization as part of our leadership team on social justice and diversity issues, helping us lead a diverse group of people," Rams chief operating officer Kevin Demoff said of the 41-year-old Holmes, per Lindsey Thiry of ESPN. "Brad is one of the more valued voices we have in our building."

The next general manager will be tasked, first and foremost, with hiring a new head coach after the disastrous Matt Patricia era. Under Patricia, Detroit went just 13-29-1. The new GM will also have the No. 7 overall pick and will have to decide whether it's time for Detroit to pursue a long-term replacement at quarterback for Matthew Stafford, who turns 33 on Feb. 7. 

It's a crucial hire for Detroit at a key point in the team's rebuild.