Lions GM Brad Holmes was all smiles after he was able to nab two players in the first round of the NFL draft that he considers game-changers.
With the second overall pick on Thursday night, the Lions drafted defensive end Aidan Hutchinson who played at Michigan. Then Holmes traded up to the 12th pick to select wide receiver Jameson Williams from Alabama.
Hutchinson was a no-brainer. He and DE Travon Walker were likely to go 1-2 in some order on Thursday night. Indeed, Walker was drafted by Jacksonville with the top pick.
Hutchinson had 14 sacks for the Wolverines last season. He’s a leader, a high-energy player. He seems like a perfect fit for a Dan Campbell coached team.
But, there’s more.
“I think what gets lost is how effective he is in the run game. It’s a three-down league and I think what he does in the run game is overlooked in a good way because of the sacks,’’ Holmes said.
Hutchinson, who played at Dearborn Divine Child, is a hometown favorite.
“I know he’ll make his mark in this community, he already has so it’s going to continue to trend up from here. We’re thrilled with what he’s going to bring to our organization,’’ Holmes said.
Holmes had looked before the start of the draft about trading up for Williams.
“This guy is tough, he’s gritty, he’s a dog, he loves football. He just fits what we’re about,’’ Holmes said.
He also thinks Williams has the ability to be a game-changer, but the Lions have to do their part to set him up for success.
Holmes would not share a timetable for Holmes’ return from injury — he tore his ACL in the national championship game.
“We feel very good with where we expect him to return,’’ Holmes said.
On Friday, the Lions have one second-round pick at 46th overall and one in the third round at 97th overall.
Hutchinson and Williams are expected at the Lions facility on Friday.