Report: Lions are expected to interview Rick Smith for G.M. opening

NFL: MAR 06 Scouting Combine
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The Lions announced last week that they had interviewed three internal candidates for General Manager, and now a report has emerged of an external candidate.

According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, the Lions are expected to interview former Texans G.M. Rick Smith before Christmas, and likely next week.

Smith spent 12 seasons as Houston’s General Manager from 2006-2017. The Texans won four division titles and compiled a 92-100 record in that time. Smith’s marquee draft picks include defensive lineman J.J. Watt (2011), wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (2013), and quarterback Deshaun Watson (2017).

Smith’s Houston tenure ended when he stepped away to help take care of his wife, Tiffany, who died of breast cancer in Jan. 2019.

Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Falcons also have interest in Smith as a G.M. candidate.

6 responses to “Report: Lions are expected to interview Rick Smith for G.M. opening

  1. As a Texans fan, here’s my assessment of Rick Smith: (
    1) almost always nails his first round picks, only two busts in a 12 year career, Amobi Okoye (his very first pick, who was considered very high risk/high reward) and Kevin Johnson (looked good as a rookie, career derailed by injuries). Drafted JJ Watt, Deandre Hopkins and Deshaun Watson (against the wishes of O’Brien).
    (2) pretty good at late round picks and UDFA signings, found lots of diamonds in the rough like Arian Foster, DJ Reader, Derek Newton and Andre Hal.
    (3) not so great at mid-round picks, lots of failures like Sam Montgomery, Xavier Sua’Filo, Brennan Williams, Louis Nix, and Trevardo Williams. To his credit, he did find Brandon Brooks (but didn’t resign him)
    (4) Very questionable record in free agency/trades. Made some good signings early on like Chris Meyers, Wade Smith, and especially Johnathan Joseph, but he had a LOT of absolutely awful free agency signings. Letting Glover Quin walk in favor of Ed Reed was terrible, Rahim Moore and Jacques Reeves were bad, and of course there is the Brock Osweiler debacle. To his credit, he did engineer the NFL’s first salary dump trade to get his contract off the books.
    (5) hired an excellent staff. Houston had a highly respected scouting department under Smith and the Wade Phillips signing worked out great. O’Brien’s hiring wasn’t his call.

  2. Very under rated G.M. ANY Philly fan would love him over Howie Roseman. Pair him WITH Howie who is actually pretty good in mid to late round picks…but is horrible in tounds 1/2..

  3. Hope the Falcons get him, as I don’t want Smith in the NFC North. He built a winning team in Houston, and I’d rather he not do the same in Detroit.

  4. He is the embodiment of the Peter Principal in the NFL. Great head of scouting, terrible GM. He had no idea how to manage the salary cap. Missed on every 2-5 round pick. Needs a real GM to say no to 5th round talent/character whom he wants to draft in round 2.

    Like Sam Adams during his career of 1 year contracts, you gotta keep some guys hungry. Smith drafted the mid-round guys way too high and the team paid for it. He hits on 1’s 6’s and 7’s.

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