Takeaways from Dan Campbell, Brad Holmes scouting combine press conferences – The Oakland Press
The 2022 NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis is now upon us, which means it’s time for the Detroit Lions to assess a myriad of players they could select in the April draft ( April 28-30).
Before on-field talent testing can begin, however, head coaches and general managers of NFL teams must take to the podium to speak to the media, and the Lions did just that on Tuesday.
Here are seven takeaways from the press conferences of Detroit head coach Dan Campbell and the combine’s general manager Brad Holmes.
OKUDAH DOES NOT MOVE SAFELY
The much-maligned former Ohio State defensive back won’t go to safety when he returns from a torn Achilles injury. Okudah was injured in the Lions’ 2021 regular season opener against the San Francisco 49ers.
Campbell told the NFL Combine on Tuesday.
“Right now we see him as a corner. But, then again, a lot of that will happen as we continue to discuss and depending on who we add or how we add, you never know,” Campbell told reporters at the Indianapolis-based pre-draft event. . “We constantly talk about our staff and what is best for them in the future. What is best for us?
“Should this guy get to safety?” Should this guy go nickel? Should we push that guy back in the corner? How are our wounded? What do we add? So we will constantly dialogue about it. But yeah, we see Jeff there, and what we need to do is just keep adding pieces that can compete.
LIONS PLEDGE TO STAY ‘GRITTY’
Campbell has never been shy about being himself with the media, and Tuesday was another example.
As part of his media session, he delivered this gem to journalists: “We are going to be aggressive and we will not back down from anyone. We respect all of our opponents, but we fear none. If you want to come to Detroit, you’re gonna be brave, and you’re gonna be with a bunch of guys who love the game. They’re gonna give their heart and soul, and we’re gonna let it go.
It’s safe to say that Campbell was in fine form mid-season on the podium.
OKUDAH, ROMEO OKWARA ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Both Okudah and Okwara missed the majority of the 2021 campaign with physical ailments.
Okudah’s is detailed above, while Okwara also tore his Achilles tendon – which came in Week 4 against the Chicago Bears – and missed the rest of the season.
According to Campbell, both players have a chance to be ready to play at the start of the 2022 season.
“As long as everything goes the way of their recovery, we should hopefully have them in training camp, at least on a limited basis, which would be nice,” Campbell told reporters. “So we’re hoping for both guys’ season, if they’re ready.”
HOLMES NOT SURE ON FRANCHISE LABEL
If the Lions apply the franchise tag to any player this offseason, it will likely be safety Tracy Walker or EDGE Charles Harris.
But, the likelihood of this happening is rather low.
According to Holmes, the Lions, as an organization, have not yet engaged in any conversation regarding the deployment of the beacon.
HOLMES SEEK ANSWERS ON HUTCHINSON
A significant portion of the Lions fanbase will be eyeing up past rusher Aidan Hutchinson this week at Indy.
And it’s not just because he’s a local product, having played for Dearborn (Mich.) Divine Child High School and collegiately at the University of Michigan. But it’s also because he has a great chance of being selected by Holmes & Co. second overall in the NFL Draft in April.
Holmes was asked about the former Michigan player during his media session at the combine.
“Hopefully he comes here and competes,” Holmes said. “From what I know of him, he seems like that kind of guy. You know, he’s a local guy. He’s from Detroit. Plays hard, had a very productive year. So we will get all questions answered from him throughout this week and moving forward.
HOLMES SEEK “CONFIRMATION” OF “MEASURED”
Height, height, weight and hand span are just a few of the notable “measurables” NFL teams will be looking for information on as they evaluate players this week in Indianapolis.
This is an ultra important aspect of the combine that talent evaluators spend a multitude of time on during their week-long stay at the combine.
On Tuesday, Holmes talked about getting “confirmation” of measurable prospect data while at Indy.
“You definitely want to get confirmation of what those measurable parameters are for what you thought you saw on film,” Holmes said. “Now you already have measurable parameters. There’s a lot of study done, in terms of position, if it’s an attacking tackle with an arm’s length, like what are the subsets of attacking tackles with that arm’s length. What was the success rate of these guys? Then it goes through: What are wide receivers and 40 (-yard dash) times? Does it really compare?
“That’s when you get deep into the analytics, and we have a great analytics service that we use a lot. There are some trends that you can see starting to develop as you start to dig deeper into measurable metrics.
HOLMES: THIBODEAUX IS “A GOOD PROSPECT”
With Hutchinson, Kayvon Thibodeaux is one of the big favorites to land with the Lions with selection n°2.
Holmes got the chance to see Thibodeaux play up close while in California for Detroit’s Week 7 road contest with the LA Rams.
During the same week, Thibodeaux and the Oregon Ducks faced the UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. He recorded nine total tackles, along with two sacks and a forced fumble, in Oregon’s 34-31 win.
“Well, he had a productive game that day,” Holmes said of Thibodeaux’s performance against the Bruins. “I don’t know if it’s because I timed it well. But, he had a productive game, and you know, he’s a good prospect.
This article was produced by the staff of Sports Illustrated/All Lions. To learn more, visit si.com/nfl/lions.