Jeff Holland, EDGE
School: Auburn | Conference: SEC
College Experience: rJr | Age: 21?
Height / Weight: 6-2 / 249 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 3rd Round
NFL Comparison: Yannick Ngakoue
Last year Carl Lawson was one of the most effective college football edge prospects. He was overlooked coming out of Auburn and ended up falling to the Bengals in the 4th round. Lawson just finished his rookie season with 8.5 sacks. His successor, Jeff Holland, figures to walk a similar path. Holland is one of the most productive EDGE prospects in this class and put up very similar numbers compared to his predecessor after getting starting duties this year. Holland played with his hand in the dirt as well standing up and dropped back in coverage as well in certain situations. Holland is effective because of his quick get off and powerful hands. The flexibility in his hips isn't great but he can turn the edge well enough and provide consistent pressure on the QB. He is a high motor / high effort player and doesn’t stop his attack till the whistle blows. He contributes to a lot of successful plays that aren't represented in the stat column. His immediate value is represented in his pass rush skills as his run defense needs quite a bit of work. He also needs to work on some technical issues rushing off the edge. Holland will likely fall to the mid rounds despite his pass rush production because he doesn’t possess those special quick twitch traits of the top EDGE rushers. Holland fits well as a 4-3 DE but should draw interest from 4-3 / 3-4 teams alike looking for a pass rushing OLB.
- Near prototypical size of a 4-3 DE but is versatile enough to play OLB in both base scheme.
- High effort player that works overtime to produce. Pursuit and ability to disrupt are great.
- Uses hands to swat away defender blocks and disengage. Plays with good power and lateral movement to always put pressure on the edge.
- When he makes contact he attacks the ball and has produced several turnovers this past season.
- Hasn’t learned how to consistently play low, dip his shoulder and bend. Gets caught playing too upright and his momentum can be stopped.
- Limited athleticism if he’s going to play OLB best fit there is at strongside.
- Short area quickness is also limited and he can get too caught up in the trash. Particularly evident when playing the run. Must learn how to better disengage.
- Likely limited to a pure pass rushing role at the next level. Would not want to see him in coverage ever.
Let’s see his work:
Auburn is becoming a quiet EDGE U. Jeff Holland is going to have my attention on Saturday. Bending through contact is a very important trait. Haven't watched enough to say he does it consistently, but this caught my eye. pic.twitter.com/f5IiRrd6wL— The Mick Nartin™ (@themicknartin) December 1, 2017
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
Holland has a lot of work to do to iron out some of his technical issues but I think the difficulty of his development will be largely tied to the role he’s going to play for the team that drafts him. If a team is looking to make him a well rounded OLB/DE he’s going to require a lot more work. If a team is looking to make him a pure pass rushing DE/OLB he will have fewer obstacles. What’s great about Holland is despite his role I think you can count on him to put in the work and give it his all on the field. With a powerful swat and arm under move in his arsenal, he only is a few more moves away from really being devastating pending his consistency. Depending on the team he lands on I think Holland could have an immediate impact. When it comes to the Redskins I can’t see Holland cracking the starting lineup. I do think he would provide excellent depth and offer tremendous upside at strongside OLB/DE behind Ryan Kerrigan and I think the team could use some insurance there as Kerrigan is entering the second half of his contract which is set to end in 2020. I think both share some similarities in their style of play and abilities though of course, Kerrigan is a much more well-rounded player. If Holland makes it to the 3rd round I wouldn’t be upset if the Redskins showed interest.