By Hussam Patel and Chip Turner
Jevon Holland is an excellent and versatile safety who reads and reacts quickly, is fluid in transition, and displays outstanding ball-tracking. He’s a solid tackler, although he’s more likely to have issues with more physical receivers and backs in the NFL, unless he can add weight to his frame without losing quickness. Holland’s best trait might be his versatility; his cover skills are good enough for him to be used interchangeably at free safety and slot corner.
This is a huge plus in today’s NFL, where dime, quarter and even dollar defenses are being used more frequently. Holland even returned punts for Oregon.
This aside, Holland will also have to get a little bigger and stronger to handle NFL starting WR. I originally was unsure about his athleticism, but his Pro Day answered many of those doubts. He’s tremendously aggressive when he reads a play accurately, and his instincts and ball skills make him appear even faster and quicker than he is. His aggressiveness didn’t factor negatively in college, but it might in the NFL if he overpursues. Holland might eventually end up being primarily a slot corner in the NFL, but he’ll play a variety of roles as defenses adapt to more versatile offenses.
Post Draft Report:
A quote from ESPN’s Louis Riddick sums it up:
"Very smooth, very skilled. Good hips. Very fluid closing ability. The kind of guy you would assume Brian Flores will find multiple ways to deploy him. You can send him on the blitz. You can match him up against tight ends. You can match him against running backs. There are so many different things you can do with a player like this. And when a team like the Dolphins that emphasizes good fundamentals in the second this is a good solid pick. You can see Brian Flores advocating for a guy like this."