By: Hussam Patel
It only took 2 years for the Dolphins to draft the player that Minkah Fitzpatrick was supposed to be. Jevon Holland might be the guy that fits in Brian Flores’s mosaic in terms of his play style.
I detailed it in my pre-draft scouting report, and was impressed by his tape. Initially I questioned why the Dolphins took Holland when Trevon Moehrig, the #1 safety on my board, wasn’t selected first, as according to reports Miami wanted a center field safety.
Then, I took a look at what Miami actually needed at the safety position schematically, and came away with this thread on Holland:
With the Dolphins secondary already being great at ball skills and coverage, Holland is an added bonus. What Holland really does well is contribute to run support and play downhill in the box at stopping the run. He can be the Patrick Chung of this defense.
Let's take a look at Holland’s Measurables:
At first glance, he looks eerily similar to Minkah Fitzpatrick.
From Mario Cristobal on Jevon Holland: “He is a large ballhawk. He is a guy that played the nickel position. A safety body type that could jump out there and play corner, play man-to-man coverage, run the alley as a safety, drop back as a punt returner and create explosive plays. Instinctive, explosive, tough, physical, a student of the game."
“Teams that we played against, as we watched film around the country, I didn’t see anyone better at his position than him. I expect him to go extremely high and do extremely well right away," said Cristobal.
In 2018, Holland primarily played at Safety and perPFF's Ryan Smith and put up a 59.9 coverage grade with 26 completions on 43 targets, while only giving up 325 yards, two touchdowns and hauling down five interceptions.
Furthermore in 2019, when Holland played most of his snaps at slot corner, he notched a 68.5 coverage rating while allowing 45 completions on 72 targets for 487 yards, two touchdowns and four picks.
Head coach Brian Flores said after day two of the draft that Holland has leadership qualities and that he “has the ability to communicate and quarterback a defense because he’s smart.”
Holland is a perfect fit for the Dolphins defense and head coach Brian Flores, as he is one of the most versatile defensive backs in this draft class; he has the toughness and athleticism to play the nickel or free safety, as well as the speed and coverage skills to play as a slot corner.
Certainly he will help out in the passing game, and he offers a much more natural presence in the run game - he's over 200 pounds and was in run fits for almost 500 snaps near the line of scrimmage and as a box safety.
He’s got plenty of tape (Oregon & Stanford, 2019) that showcases he’s comfortable navigating traffic in the box and sniffing out the ball carrier. He had 4.5 sacks in his electric freshman season, and tallied 5 picks. Holland looks to be the shiny penny in Miami’s secondary.
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