Our Scouting Report Series continues where we break down the top prospects for the 2021 NFL draft. Today, we are talking about a highly versatile defensive back with widely varying draft projections. Before you go on, be sure to check out any of our previous scouting reports you might have missed!
|Justin Fields||N/A||Ja’Marr Chase||Kyle Pitts||Penei Sewell||N/A||N/A||N/A||Patrick Surtain II||N/A|
|Zach Wilson||DeVonta Smith||Caleb Farley|
Measurables and Numbers
Weight: 196 pounds
A Look at Jevon Holland’s College Performance
Holland was a 4-star recruit from Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland, California. He was a 3-year starter at defensive back and 2-year starter at wide receiver. As a receiver, Holland averaged 30 yards per reception and scored a TD every 2.5 catches. On defense, he was a ball hawk with 13 interceptions and 18 pass deflections. Holland was ranked the #144 recruit in the nation and generated a lot of interest from major college programs. He eventually committed to Oregon.
Holland played in 13 games as a true freshman including 2 starts. He recorded 42 tackles, 5 interceptions (the most on the team), and 6 pass deflections in his freshman season. In 2019, Holland started every game and recorded 66 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 4 interceptions, and 4 pass break-ups. Holland opted out of the 2020 season.
Current Draft Projection
PFF – 56th overall/SAF5
The Draft Network – 38th overall/SAF1
Holland was somewhat of a positionless player for Oregon in 2019, aligning everywhere from single-high safety to slot cornerback to box safety. Holland gives the ability for teams to remain in base personnel groups against many different offensive sets, something the Ducks took advantage of often.
Don't forget about Oregon's Jevon Holland in this class — excellent slot/box prospect that should be considered a top-50 player in 2021. pic.twitter.com/k17ysjqTD3— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) February 12, 2021
Holland has great football instincts. He has the ability to diagnose passing concepts quickly and accurately and makes great plays on the ball. Holland processes run concepts quickly and understands his responsibilities in run fits. He navigates through traffic well and positions himself to make tackles. He isn’t dominant in the run game, but he does get running backs to the ground.
If we can't get John Johnson iii… get his younger clone, Jevon Holland!pic.twitter.com/S7pnHk46RJ— ＨＵＳＳ¹⁴♨️ (@ah0014_) February 18, 2021
Oregon sophomore safety Jevon Holland is a dude. Sees the reverse on the speed option all day, swims the block, and fires up for the TFL. Going to be a fun 2021 NFL Draft eval. pic.twitter.com/jLWLcD3CHC— Bobby Football (@Rob__Paul) January 2, 2020
Holland has good range and is able to make plays on outside 9 routes from the hash. He was able to play single high in college, but there are questions about his ability to do so at the NFL level. His range is related more to his great instincts than his top-end speed. Holland is a player who looks faster on the field than he really is.
Watching #Oregon safety Jevon Holland (2019 tape).— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) February 11, 2021
Nine interceptions — in two college seasons. Urgent/competitive vs. the run game. Disruptive traits as a curl/slot defender.
Can see the ball skills, body control, toughness on special teams, too (punt return). @NFLMatchup pic.twitter.com/CRH8MldMpX
Special Teams Ability
Holland averaged 15.3 yards per punt return for Oregon in 2019 and would be a plug-and-play return man for most NFL teams. He is also an able gunner in punt coverage.
Holland led Oregon in interceptions in 2018 and put up good numbers in 2019. He makes good plays on the football and has strong hands to secure interceptions and pass breakups. When he secures an interception, he has the elusiveness to rip off big returns.
Pick 6 for Oregon's Jevon Holland pic.twitter.com/IUhab7QEpt— Billy M (@BillyM_91) October 27, 2019
Jack of All Trades but Master of None
If there is ever a player that this label applies to it is Holland. Teams drafting him purely as a safety or purely as a slot corner will be misusing his talents. There are better safeties in this class and there are better slot corners, but there aren’t many players that bring the level of versatility Holland possesses. He has good speed but not great. He is a solid but not elite slot defender. Holland is rangy at safety but can lose at the catch point to bigger receivers. If used as a positionless player, Holland could thrive in the NFL but his projection is a little muddy.
At 6’1, Holland is bigger than your average slot corner. He is smooth in coverage but against twitchy, slot receivers he can have a hard time keeping up with 2 way go routes. At 196 pounds, he isn’t the most dense player at safety and can surrender ground in the running game or be bodied by bigger receivers at times.
Holland has an unclear draft projection in terms of position and upside. Projecting players like this at the NFL level is always hard, but it is made more difficult by the fact that all of his tape is a year old.
Jevon Holland is a highly versatile prospect who may be considered a high floor/low ceiling player. While he doesn’t possess many elite traits, he also doesn’t possess any major red flags. Holland is likely to be an early day 2 pick.
The Eagles secondary is in transition. CB1 is locked down with Darius Slay, but everything else is up for grabs. Is Jalen Mills coming back? If so, will he play S or CB? Is Avonte Maddox a slot corner or a safety? Those are questions nobody really has the answer to. What we do know, is that the Eagles desperately need playmakers on the back end of their defense and Holland fits the bill. No matter if the Eagles view Holland as a S or slot CB, they have needs at both spots and could really benefit by adding someone with Holland’s skill set. He would also provide an option in the return game, something the Eagles haven’t had for a long time.
The Cowboys have needs all over the back end of their defense, and Holland could step into multiple roles for them next season. If the Cowboys don’t take Surtain or Farley in the first round, I would expect them to be very interested in Holland in the 2nd.
The Falcons have long preferred athleticism over anything else on their defense. Holland could be a very intriguing player for a team that has no issues putting safeties in the box as linebackers and asking them to mix it up in the run game while providing excellent pass defense.