CB Darnay Holmes, UCLA*

5’10” – 195 lbs. – 4.48

Has been starting at UCLA since his freshman season, one in which he recorded 39 tackles, three breakups, and three interceptions over ten starts and thirteen appearances. Finished his sophomore year with 48 tackles, eight breakups, and three interceptions, and then totaled 33 tackles, six breakups, and two interceptions as a junior before declaring for the draft. Height and bulk are adequate, although his arms measured in a little bit shorter than you’d like to see. Competitive, physical cornerback who lined up in a lot of press-man looks from the left side of the defense, but would also play some shuffle, backpedal from off-coverage, or slide into the slot and press from there. Has good footwork to match releases at the line of scrimmage, and also looks smooth and balanced when backpedaling. There’s a little bit of wasted motion when transitioning from his backpedal, and his burst is just average. Fluid when opening his hips. Overall speed is pretty good; can provide tight coverage on crossing routes and drags over the middle, which are typically difficult to defend. Exhibits an appropriately conservative approach when playing off-coverage, closing quickly after the receiver goes through their stem; pretty hard hitter who can dislodge some passes or at least limit yards after the catch. Would like to see that conservatism carry over into his press-man more often; can get aggressive at the line and struggle to recover if his punch at the line isn’t successful. Got burned down the sidelines three times against Washington State this past year. However, does a good job of getting his head around to locate when in-phase down the sidelines. Because of his pattern recognition skills and timing, was able to make quite a few plays on the ball, and is dangerous as a runner, having returned to picks for touchdowns over his career. Willing in run support; can get engulfed by bigger receivers, but attacks blocks pretty aggressively, demonstrates a strong motor in pursuit, and uses wrap technique. A squatty, physical, and competitive defensive back with some quickness, but who can get too aggressive in press coverage and doesn’t quite have the speed or explosiveness to recover if he whiffs. May have to slide inside or even back to safety, but has a likable game and looks like a mid-round possibility for a team that plays an aggressive brand of football.

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