Jevon Holland, one of the top safety prospects of the 2021 NFL draft, proved his worth during his college career at Oregon. His top-notch versatility is highly coveted by NFL teams, and his coverage ability and instincts make for an exciting player. Very few safety prospects can match Holland’s potential which is why he is probably going to be the first safety taken off the board. His impact is more than one would think, as his ability to play almost any position shuts down a lot of options for the offense, and also gives the defense a lot more flexibility. This impact is a huge plus for any team, and given that you rarely see a player with the amount of talent Holland does, it will be very hard to pass up the chance to pick him on draft day.
Jevon Holland Stats And Measurables:
2018: 42 TOTAL/31 SOLO/5 INT/6 PD
2019:66 TOTAL/40 SOLO/4 INT/1 TD/4 PD
1. While versatility is common amongst many of this year’s top prospects, Holland’s ability to be versatile was on another level during his time at Oregon. He played major snaps at both safety and the slot or nickel cornerback positions, even seeing some snaps as a mike linebacker. Holland was able to play phenomenally wherever Oregon put him. Versatility is becoming a highly sought-after trait, and teams will benefit strongly from Hollands production at every position. Even when isolated in man coverage against a team’s top receiver he would almost completely shut them down. Whether he was playing corner, safety or linebacker Holand showed prowess in both man and zone coverage, showing why he is one of, if not the most versatile player in this draft class.
2. In coverage, Holland is exceptional at locking down any position and is rarely caught up in traffic. Lots of times when a safety is matched up against a speedy receiver in man coverage, teams will try to send multiple routes flooding an area of the field with the goal of losing the safety making the receiver wide open. Holland was able to navigate traffic well when teams did this by avoiding the contact, using his speed to maneuver around different receivers allowing him to get around untouched. When his zone was flooded with receivers, Holland held his own well and didn’t give the quarterback an easy option. If your safety is able to navigate traffic, it can completely defeat flood concepts, which was why after a bit of the season had passed, few teams dared to run these plays as they would rarely ever result in a positive gain of yardage. Holland has no problem in coverage and it seemed he could shadow any plyer on the field in man coverage. He is really hard to shake and rarely is far away from his receiver when the ball is thrown meaning that he is always ready to break on the ball.
3. Holland’s overall instincts are exceptional as well. His ability to sniff out the ball carrier was remarkable and he made several plays in the backfield because of it. He sneaks through gaps well and is able to escape blocks quickly due to his agility. When plays were run towards Holland he was usually able to stop them quickly with his decisiveness. Holland uses his instincts correctly against the pass as well and is able to navigate his zone without being baited out of it. He almost never leaves a hole in the defense, as he is almost always on the correct receiver, ready to make a play on the ball.
1. Although Holland is great in man coverage, sometimes he waits for his receiver to make a cut before reacting giving the receiver a better chance to create separation. Holland usually waits to backpedal until after the receiver has already made a break, which sometimes prevents him from being one step ahead of them. A lot of the time Holland uses his speed to close the gap between him and the receiver, however, when matched up against much faster wideouts at the next level, Holland will not always be able to rely on his athleticism to catch up to receivers, requiring him to work on this flaw.
2. Holland’s tackling technique could be worked on as well. He isn’t afraid of contact, but sometimes he fails to wrap up and instead relies on brute strength to knock the runner off balance. This won’t fly in the NFL, as he won’t be able to muscle many runners to the ground, so he needs to work on his ability to wrap up while making a tackle so that it’s more secure. Although Holland did not struggle with tackling much at Oregon his tackling habits may have a negative impact at the next level.
Jevon Holland has a rare set of skills that, if used correctly, could turn into elite-level play. Although he is probably the top safety in this class, he may be the top slot cornerback as well. Any defense loves to have a guy that can play every position, and few do it better than Holland. His instincts and football IQ benefit the team significantly, and the prowess he showed in coverage gives the offense a much harder time moving the ball. Although he does have some things he needs to work on, his talent is undeniable and the benefits he brings to the table are enough to make him a first-round draft pick.