[Fiches Draft] Jevon Holland (S), without fixed position

A little less than a month before the draft (April 29), the editorial staff of touchdownactu offers you its annual « draft sheet ». 80 players, 40 in attack and 40 in defense, among the best university players, who will delight your favorite NFL team in 2021.

Jevon Holland – Safety – Oregon

Cut : 1m86

Weight: 89 kilos

Estimated position in the draft: 2nd – 3rd round

2019 Stats *: 14 games, 66 tackles, 4 defended assists, 4 interceptions, 1 touchdown. * 2020: opt out.

NFL Comparison: Kenny Vaccaro

Strong points

– Instinct
– Versatility
– IQ Football

Versatility has always been at the heart of Jevon Holland’s game. In high school, he spent two seasons in attack and defense, producing on both sides of the ball. This asset allowed him to gain playing time in his first year in the Oregon defensive backfield, but also on special teams. He has gradually established himself as a safe bet in the workforce and his tenure in 2019 has not suffered from any dispute. He was sort of a player without a fixed position, lining up everywhere, from single-high safety to cornerback in the slot, to box safety. He thus offered the possibility for his team to remain in groups of basic personnel against many different offensive patterns.

A true ball hunter, Holland feels the game and has excellent instincts on the court. In individual coverage, his ability to stay in touch with receivers excites recruiters. From the snap to the end of the action, he has the speed to follow the fastest, outside and in the slot. Even though he’s not the strongest or the swiftest in his class, he’s not afraid to tackle more physical weapons. The flexibility of its supports is also to be emphasized. As well as that of his hips which allows him to change direction with fluidity.

The most important trait in Holland is not his athleticism, but his instinct. This characteristic is becoming more and more important to defensemen in the NFL, and the former resident of Eugene ticks this box. In zone, he takes advantage of his past as a former receiver and his perfect knowledge of the tracks. He can read the eyes of the quarterback to anticipate and quickly project himself towards the ball. Equipped with safe hands, he also has this second acceleration to break the trajectories and perform the appropriate movement.

Holland is also a good defender against the ground game. He navigates well in traffic and takes the right angles to make his tackles. He also has the ability to actively break free from blocks to chase runners away, despite his relatively slim build. He is not dominant in this sector, but he does not hesitate to be physical and to give hard knocks that put the running backs to the ground.

Weak points

– Template
– Doubt about his position
– Opt out

However, he should gain some weight and gain strength to tackle professional running backs. This extra mass could especially help him in terms of sustainability in the league. With his 89 kilos, he is not the most dense player in terms of safeties and can give way on a ground action or be bypassed by larger receivers. In the slot, he can also experience some difficulties with more nervous players, especially on double layouts.

Jack of all trades, but master of nothing. If there is a player to whom this label applies, it is him. Teams that take him only as safety or only as cornerback in the slot will misuse his talents. There are better prospects for each position, but little brings its versatility. He is good at what he does without being exceptional. If he is used as a player without a position, Holland could then flourish in the NFL.

Holland doesn’t have a clear projection in terms of position and potential. He gives defensive coordinators schematic flexibility, but that can also serve him up. It is always difficult to project players like him at the professional level, all the more difficult when all his videos are a year old. After a great second year in 2019, Holland opted out of last season to prepare for the draft. Most players had more to prove in 2021, but the safety, coming out of an exceptional season, decided to bet on his talent and preserve his stock. Pity. His progress was spectacular between his first and second year. A few additional meetings could have enabled recruiters to decide on his best positioning.

Possible destinations

New Orleans Saints, Washington Football Team, Las Vegas Raiders, Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers

Jevon Holland’s screening is causing concern. Some wonder if he will play safety or cornerback at the next level. If this darkness is a weakness for some, it can also be a strength. Holland has the versatility to evolve in both positions and has the skills to bring that ability to the NFL. He can be considered a high-floor player, but with a low ceiling, capable of gaining playing time from his rookie year. He offers a beneficial skill set for those who know how to use them correctly and his contribution on special teams could also be an additional trigger in his favor.

While he doesn’t have many dominant traits, he also doesn’t have major red flags, which makes him a strong candidate for a selection in the 2e tower. The teams with a need in the slot, added to a lack of depth in terms of safety, are those which correspond best to all of its skills.

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