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In 2019, he had 539 coverage snaps, all at cornerback, and allowed 45 receptions in 72 targets for 487 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions That’s a 68.5 passer rating against. Most of those cornerback snaps came with Holland in the slot; he played only 18 snaps at outside corner, with one target.
Holland’s nine interceptions over 2018 and 2019 were fourth-most in college football, and he broke up 10 other passes, while committing only one penalty over those two seasons. He opted out of last season.
“He’s not only a safety but also fits really well at nickel corner, and it goes back to what they tried to do with Minkak Fitzpatrick,” said Lance Zierlein, NFL.com’s lead draft analyst. “I don’t think he’s that far off [from Fitzppatrick].”
So Holland will get first crack at replacing Bobby McCain at free safety (that is the plan) but he also has skills to play slot corner if needed.
“This is a dynamic playmaker going to Miami, a team that led the league in takeaways a year ago,” NFL Network’s Brian Baldinger said. “That’s what Holland can do. He can do it all at safety. Deep middle, down at the line of scrimmage, Stitched Jordan Scarlett Jersey, in the slot. He has versatility to his game. He’s a great tackler. He’s got size.”
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NFL Network’s Charley Casserly, the former Washington and Houston general manager, put it best: “I’ve seen him cover wide receivers. I’ve seen him cover running backs and I’ve seen him cover tight ends and he hits people. They want a guy in Miami’s defense to match up all across the field. You can’t find safeties that can cover. This guy’s a steal in the second round.”
Holland, explaining how he grabbed nine interceptions in two years at Oregon, noted: “I played receiver in high school a lot, and that’s where I developed a lot of my ball skills. I feel like I have a good sense of how White Jordan Scarlett Jersey, the ball trajectory is going to be in the sky.”
Dolphins defensive backs coach Gerald Alexander and safety Eric Rowe praised Holland’s intelligence and how he’s picking up the defense. But without any high-intensity 11-on-11 drills during OTAs, he doesn’t have much opportunity to show his ballhawking skills — at least not yet.
▪ Zierlein, incidentally, said Dolphins general manager Chris Grier “is becoming one of my favorite executives in the league because he knows how to get up and down in the draft. They’re swinging for the fences with Jaylen Waddle and Jaelan Phillips. Waddle is unguardable over all three levels of the field.”
▪ NFL Network’s Bucky Brooks, a former NFL scout, cites one reason the Dolphins are getting such strong draft reviews from evaluators: “They not only have prototype dimensions, but they’re really good, productive players. I like what they’re putting together in Miami. These new guys should push them over the top.”
ESPN’s Todd McShay said this much is clear: “This is the year to figure out if Tua Tagovailoa can be the future in Miami. They did the exact right thing by getting him another weapon. Now you bring in Waddle to go with [DeVante] Parker, who’s a bigger, more possession-type receiver. You got Will Fuller, who can run the nine route. Now you’ve got weapons!”
▪ Greg Cosell, a respected film analyst and producer for NFL Films, on new Dolphins defensive lineman/linebacker Phillips: “I’m not going to compare him to Chase Young. He’s in a class of his own. But of all the edge rushers I’ve watched, Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic, all the ones considered the top guys, I liked his tape the most, his traits the most.
“He’s sudden, he’s explosive, flexible, power, balance, competitiveness. He checked all the boxes. To me, [he has] elite movement and change of direction. He was rarely on the ground. He’s a 4-3 defensive end.”
▪ The fact the Dolphins put in a waiver claim for former Detroit running back Kerryon Johnson, who was claimed by the Eagles, reaffirms what was suspected: The Dolphins are still looking to improve the position.
That’s why Sony Michel (New England) and Melvin Gordon (Denver) are among those worth monitoring in August. Michel isn’t assured of making the Patriots. And Gordon could become expendable if the Broncos determine that Javonte Williams is the better running back.
The Dolphins have six running backs: Myles Gaskin, Salvon Ahmed, Malcolm Brown, Patrick Laird, Jordan Scarlett and rookie Gerrid Doaks, who was back participating in drills last Friday after spending some time rehabilitating an injury.
▪ Quick stuff: Dolphins guard Solomon Kindley, a former lifeguard who once rescued a Georgia teammate from drowning, is partnering with the City of Miami Parks and Recreation department in kicking off the PFAC Learn to Swim program. The seven-week program begins Saturday from 9 a.m to noon at Miller J. and Nancy S. Dawkins Olympics Pool Complex at 4800 Northwest 12th Ave. For more information, contact a summer camp park manager…
DraftKings Sportsbook has the Dolphins’ over/under for wins at nine…. The Dolphins are down to $8.9 million in cap space, less than they typically have this time of the year.