DE Jeff Holland, Auburn*

6’1″ – 249 lbs. – 4.79

Rotated into the defense over thirteen games in each of his first two seasons with the Tigers, then replaced eventual fourth-round pick Carl Lawson at the “Buck” position this past year, enjoying a very productive season en route to first-team all-conference honors before declaring for the draft. Usage is as a stand-up edge rusher in the team’s odd defensive front; snaps as a traditional off-the-line linebacker are rare. Will also put his hand in the dirt on four-man lines. Thickly-built player with adequate bulk and borderline height for a pro pass rusher; may need to confirm height and weight to solidify stock at the Combine. Pretty good run defender who plays with functional strength, can set the edge in the run game, and is disciplined when working in backside contain or when given a free lane on option plays. Offers a good motor in pursuit to the sidelines, although his overall athleticism is just average. Thudding hitter with what looks like a solid tackling radius; can help set a physical tone defensively. Enjoyed a lot of success as a pass-rusher this past season, primarily from the left side of the defensive line. More polished than his one year of starting experience would indicate. Does a good job of varying his rushes; shows the ability to convert speed to power, to use a rip move to get pressure around the edge, and to use some suddenness to get penetration with his inside moves. However, as mentioned previously, overall athleticism is just average. Isn’t very explosive off the line of scrimmage, and has some trouble with his balance when bending the edge and attempting to dip his shoulder. A little bit stiff and linear, allowing opponents to guide him past the quarterback and forcing him to gather and redirect. Wasn’t asked to make many drops into coverage during the games reviewed and may not really have the athleticism to do so on a consistent basis at the pro level either. A somewhat less impressive prospect than Carl Lawson, but with a similar game, his draft status could end up being similar as well; should be able to work his way into a rotation more quickly than his lack of experience would indicate, and has the traits to potentially develop into a starter at the pro level, whether as a defensive end in an even defensive front or as an elephant or rush linebacker in an odd front.

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