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Discussion of the Detroit Lions NFL class project in the first year of GM Brad Holmes recovery and what it all means for the future, Monday, May 3, 2021

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Detroit Free Press

When Brad Holmes challenged conventional wisdom and took a defensive match for the second straight of Day 2 of last week’s NFL draft, it apparently caused friction in the Philadelphia Eagles’ draft camera.

Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said in a radio interview in Philadelphia on Tuesday that the Eagles had two defensive battles in mind when they traded from number 70 to 73 for a six-round pick: Milton Williams of Louisiana Tech and Alim McNeill of North Carolina.

The Detroit Lions, who took Washington in defense against Levi Onvuzurike in the second round, took McNeill at number 72, a choice before the Eagles took Williams.

As Roseman walked around the draft room, banging his colleagues in celebration, he was greeted with a cool response and what seemed like words of disagreement from Eagles senior director Tom Donahoe.

Speaking at 94 WIP on Tuesday, Roseman said Donahue’s horror stemmed from the lions’ choice.

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“We have a choice of 71, we have two boys – two boys – standing out on board. Two defensive crews and they are different. They have different tastes,” Roseman said. “One is a technique of three, one is more of a nasal remedy. And so, obviously, when you have different tastes, everyone likes different tastes.”

While the Eagles’ trade created some apparent tension, Holmes was admirable in his praise of McNeill, a nose athlete who had 10 sacks in three seasons in North Carolina and was set to play a rotating role for the Lions this fall.

“(When you watch him for the first time, you think you haven’t seen him live physically, but when you watch him on film, he looks like some shorter, wider person, so you automatically think, ‘Okay “He’s your typical two-haired nosepiece,” Holmes said. “But then you keep looking at him and it’s like, ‘Wait, wait. This dude has some speed you don’t usually see from such a big and powerful man.’ so it was really fun. “

As Roseman explained in WIP, disagreements often occur on the day of the project, and especially when upgrading the project, it rarely happens when these moments are so obviously captured in front of the camera that the public can absorb them.

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“Discussions and debates and holding these talks are good,” Roseman said. “You prefer this. You prefer this passion. Tom has been here for a long time. We have been together for 10 years. Extremely close relationship. It’s good to have a hard conversation and Tom and I have had a lot of them in 10 years and that’s why you want people around you. who will not just tell you that everything you are doing is okay. They will give you their perspective and we have it. “

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.