24 Jul Preseason Scouting Notes: Jevon Holland, S, Oregon
Junior | 6’1” 200 lbs | Pleasanton, CA
Tenacious hybrid Strong Safety that provides big play making ability
In 2019 Jevon Holland emerged as one of Oregon’s staple pieces in their top tier Pac-12 defense. He led the team with 4 interceptions and was the voice of the secondary. Holland put together an impressive sophomore campaign which put him near the top of the nominees list for the 2019 Jim Thorpe Award. This nomination came along with numerous all-conference recognitions at safety and even punt returner. Most of his playmaking occurred when lined up in the box or in the slot. What makes him such an intriguing prospect is his versatility. Oregon’s scheme had him playing anywhere from the edge to slot corner along with deep safety. Finding a player who can fill all of these roles is difficult, and Holland checks that box while being exceptional at each level of the defense.
– A strong open field tackler who rarely misses a wrap up
– Holland’s ability to cover tight ends and receivers in the slot allows him to match up with tricky offensive personnel
– Showed good play recognition skills when diagnosing screens, pass concepts and filling running lanes
– Possesses the agility and balance to olè offensive linemen and tight ends to make tackles out of the box
– Can really stick his foot in the ground and show off his closing speed on hook to curl and flats zone coverage
– Communicates defensive audibles effectively and understands bump coverage assignments even with complicated motion involved
– Possesses the ideal length for a safety prospect and understands how to use his leverage
– Showed really good effort/results on special teams as a kickoff gunner and punt returner
Areas to improve:
– Needs to add a little more lean muscle to his frame
– Timing and footwork need to tighten up when flipping his hips in man coverage
– Needs to wait for the play to develop more when filling run lanes from the third level. Sometimes results in poor angles
– Could utilize his length more at the LOS against quicker players in the slot
– His make up angles on double moves while in man coverage could improve
Holland has the athleticism and football IQ to be a top-tier prospect in the 2021 draft. He best projects as a hybrid strong safety at the next level who would be utilized in a 4-3 or nickel base defense. His versatility would be most useful in these schemes due to his successful play in the slot and box. Depending on how the season unfolds, we could see Holland skyrocket into a Top 20 pick this year. If he adds a little weight to his frame while keeping his agility it would make him a highly sought after player in the upcoming draft.
What to watch in 2020:
From the end of the 2019 season to now Oregon’s team website updated Holland’s weight to a solid 200 pounds. Last season he played almost 10 pounds lighter. This could a good sign that Holland added some more muscle and is ready to be a bigger hitter in their secondary. I’ll be looking to see if he tightens up his man coverage technique and improves his footwork. If he elevates his game even more this season he will solidify himself as a top defensive back prospect in next year’s draft.