The Miami Dolphins might have struck gold with their second-round selection of Jevon Holland.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald suggested that the team believes Holland, the safety out of Oregon University and the 36th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, could be an impact player on the Dolphins defense as early as Week 1.
“McCourty — who has played most of his career at cornerback — could factor into the equation at free safety if Holland isn’t deemed ready to be an every-down player immediately,” Jackson wrote. “McCourty played some safety for the Patriots last season and is expected to compete with Holland in training camp.
“The Dolphins believe Holland — who had nine interceptions combined for Oregon in 2018 and 2019 — is ready to assume a significant role immediately, which was the impetus for releasing Bobby McCain.”
If Holland were able to breakthrough in his rookie season, it would be a boost to a Miami defense that struggled to defend the pass, allowing the 10th most yards through the air in 2020. Pass defense was one of the few areas where Miami struggled, however. The Dolphins finished sixth in points allowed per game this past season and were first overall in forced turnovers.
Holland could prove to be the last piece in building a Dolphins team ready to compete for the playoffs. After finishing 10-6 in 2020, Miami ended up just one game back from qualifying for the playoffs behind three 11-win AFC teams that secured wild card spots ahead of them.
Time will tell whether or not Holland can develop into an NFL star, but so far so good for the rookie.