Jevon Holland oped out of last season but the former Oregon safety made more than enough plays to give teams something to think about in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft. Besides coming up with nine interceptions in those two years, Holland was the leader of Oregon's secondary, meaning he has playmaking ability and football smarts to offer whichever team decides to take a chance on him.
(This profile is one of 230 featured in the Athlon Sports 2021 NFL Draft Guide. With in-depth scouting reports on the top prospects, position rankings, and more, no source will have you better prepared for draft day. Click here to get your copy.)
Jevon Holland Draft Profile
Holland had big-time box-score production at Oregon, but it wasn’t just a bunch of empty statistics. He was an alpha in the Ducks’ secondary over his two seasons, a versatile and heady playmaking defensive back who was also responsible for getting everyone lined up in the secondary. He was most valuable lining up as a nickel corner, keeping eyes on the backfield and making plays on the ball (nine interceptions over two seasons). He’ll help a defensive coordinator who wants to roll out some more exotic coverages on the back end. He can come down and match up with tight ends in man coverage, with the fluid hips and enough speed to turn and run up the seam. The ability to quickly diagnose and react makes him a strong run defender as well — he often beats blockers to the spot and is a solid, wrap-up tackler when he gets to the ball.
Holland leaves something to be desired from a measurables standpoint; he is a middling athlete. He doesn’t have a lot of twitch when it comes to changing directions and mirroring quickness, which will make slot receivers a tough matchup. He doesn’t have the range to play single-high safety, but he’s a little slight to spend time in the box, where working through tighter traffic at the NFL level will be a problem.
Football IQ and football character will make Holland a favorite of coaching staffs, and he has enough athleticism to be a starter at the next level, even if there are some limitations as far as how you can use him, which keeps his ceiling in check. But he could be a playmaker as a Cover-2 safety who plays some nickel corner and can come down as a robber.
Final Grade: 2nd/3rd round
(Top photo courtesy of goducks.com)