Junior - Safety - 6’1”, 200 lbs. - Coquitlam, Canada - Junior
If safety Jevon Holland returned for the 2020 college football season, he would have been one of three players returning with four or more interceptions over the last two years. He also would have been tied for third in the country among active FBS players with his nine interceptions over the past two season.
Coming out of Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland California, Holland was a highly touted four-star recruit. Sought out by teams like Notre Dame, Utah, and a handle of other Power 5 conference schools, Holland committed to a rebuilding Oregon Duck roster under former head coach Willie Taggart.
- In his unfortunately short time as a Duck, Holland made a name for himself as one of the premiere coverage safeties in college football. Holland finished his sophomore season as a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe award, given to the top defensive back in college football. Holland’s business decision might hurt Oregon in a shortened season where veteran leadership is key, but it’s the right decision for the safety in the long run.
NFL Player Comparison : Anthony Harris
Landing Spot: Atlanta Falcons - 2nd Round, 37th overall pick
Many have seen Holland as a top prospect, and with no news yet of his return to play in 2020, Holland prepares for the NFL Combine to showcase his talent. While he grades out as a potential first-round draft pick there are several potential first-rounders in the secondary.
The PFF All-Pac-12 first-teamer has tremendous cover skills and has an innate feel for where the ball is going to be. In 27 career games Holland has 9 interceptions and 19 pass deflections. He encompasses the definition of a ballhawk at the free safety position and at 6’1” 200 he has the frame to develop into a solid run defender.
Now that we’re through a quarter of the NFL’s regular season and projected draft positions start to make themselves more clear, it’s only fitting that one of the worst defenses in football would select one of the top coverage free safeties entering the NFL draft. In just four regular season games, the Atlanta Falcons have given up 341 YPG through the air; the second most passing yards allowed per game amongst the NFL. The Falcons backfield is made up of 2017 Pro-Bowler Keanu Neal, fifth-round pick Damontae Kazee and the aging Ricardo Allen also selected in the fifth round.
With the aforementioned talent at the safety position, Holland would be a smart choice for a Falcons defense that is scarce and nearly devoid of quality players in the secondary. Holland would be a natural fit in a defense predicated on limiting the passing game, so maybe we’ll be seeing him in Atlanta in the near future.
Best of luck, Jevon!