2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Jevon Hollandby Alex Barbour March 24, 2021 1 comment
Jevon Holland is as versatile as it gets when it comes to this defensive class. Playing boundary corner, slot corner, and strong safety for the Oregon Ducks certainly create quite a nice foundation for the next level. Although the statistics appear to be solid as well as his PFF grades, the question remains: does he play like the numbers state? Also, how will taking 2020 off affect his draft stock, not to mention his play? Only time will tell on those, but let’s find out what his play has in store for the NFL.
Name: Jevon Holland
Position: Defensive Back
Weight: 196 lbs
Coverage Skills (6.5/10)
This is a tough one to grade. Having played boundary and slot corner, not to mention safety, Holland has played in a variety of coverages. When he plays in the slot or as a safety, routes within five to 10 yards appear easy to cover. Holland’s ability to change direction is an asset, especially when the receiver is in front of him. The former Duck has a critical problem: he cannot cover routes (besides streaks) past 10 yards. He stands 10 yards away and holds his ground countless times trying to physically engage with the receiver to knock them off course.
This is an instant flag in the NFL. When in man coverage on deeper routes, Holland’s processor (which will be talked about more soon) lags, and it shows with the separation generated after the cut. NFL quarterbacks can anticipate better than college ones, so these will be consistent completions. Overall, Holland can cover well in zone and in short man, but anything deep that is man is dangerously lethal to the defense. He will serve best as a safety given his strengths.
There really is not much to rave about with Holland’s processor. He rarely seemed to move away from his instructed role and create plays on his own. The NFL will require autonomy, and that is something that is very hard to teach. The former Duck does have instances where he can read a quarterback’s eyes not to mention have a solid feel for zone coverage; however, as stated before, he reacts very slowly to downfield routes (excluding streaks that only require speed). Allowing Holland to see the play develop from the safety position was consistently the best tape that he had.
Run Defense (4.75/10)
To his credit, Holland is willing to make plays in the run game. He is definitely hot and cold with his run defense. Firstly, the former Duck’s pursuit angles have a lot of work to do. This leaked into a clean blitz on Bo Nix that was totally miscalculated; however, he did have a couple of solid spy blitzes that ended up being effective. Holland gets absorbed by blocks, but he can use his bail-out ability to retreat and try to catch the ball carrier if need be. Pass rushing is far from his strong suit, so using him as a sub-package linebacker seems out of the question. Again, safety or nickel cornerback seems to be his best fit to maximize his potential here.
This one hurt a bit. Apart from two solid tackles in a row, many tackles seemed to be either too high or simply not strong enough (he slipped off). Those two good tackles showed hit power and potential, so there is hope, but that is why he gets a three and not a two. PFF gave Holland a 74.1 tackling grade in 2019, but the eye test said otherwise.
Note: a score of five is average and nine is elite for this scale.
Ball Skills (7.75/10)
Holland is probably best at tracking and defending the ball. He had multiple interceptions in the tape studied, and he had nine interceptions in two years starting.
Straight Line Speed (7.5/10)
Holland never looked like he could get beat in coverage. It was more of a reaction timing issue than a speed issue when he got burnt. In fact, when he did get beaten on the double moves, he was able to make up ground and not let up a touchdown.
Short Area Burst (7.0/10)
Again, Holland seems solid as an athlete, but it is his IQ that seems to be the issue. He has solid bail-out speed and can cover short routes well with a solid change of direction speed. Not much to complain about here, but it is not close to elite like Keith Taylor Jr. is.
Overall Athleticism (7.0/10)
Holland has solid athleticism. His movement skills are sometimes clunky and not too fluid, but there are plenty of reps where his movement looks fluid enough. His change of direction, burst, and speed combines to make a solid physical prospect. Even one of his good tackles had noticeable hit power. The more tape that is watched, the greater the worry is that Holland’s problem is a processor one rather than a physical one.
Positional Versatility (8.0/10)
Holland has played boundary and slot corner as well as strong safety. That is enough said for his resume. While Holland belongs at safety or nickel cornerback, he is able to fill in at the other positions well enough for a period of time.
Competitive Toughness (4.75/5)
Holland never appeared to take a snap off. He may have slowed down on a couple of plays, but that is really nitpicking his effort.
There are a few reports of injuries in Holland’s past, especially one where he was carted off to the locker room in October 2019. Other reports state that he could end up being injury-prone in the NFL, but that appears to be more opinion than fact-based.
What a rollercoaster ride. It truly is hard to gauge how Holland will project given his plethora of roles as well as his time off. Given his zone ability and ball tracking skills, Holland may be an excellent safety in a cover-2 or even a cover-3 scheme also given his athleticism and range. A solid defensive coordinator will have a blast using Holland to his strengths, but fears arise as he may be a bust if he cannot mature in the right role with the right mentor. Only time will tell.
Final Grade (64.75/100): Early Third Round
Player Comp: Julian Love