I really don’t know what’s going on.
The truth is, the league promised us we would all have All-22 by now, and the only ones that have access either
A) sold their soul to the devil
B) found a workaround.
Nevertheless, as someone that has indeed found a workaround (for now), I’m going to be the modern-day Robin Hood. If it isn’t clear by now, since the first photoshop I made of Jarvis Landry and Co. as Power Rangers—all I’ve ever wanted to do is create things I would like to see as a diehard Miami Dolphins fan. And quite frankly, things others aren’t doing.
Sure, everyone looked at a stat sheet this summer and tried to downplay what Jaelan Phillips did—but I have two working eyes, and I see promise, power, and speed. So, I’ve spent my sleepless nights capturing every rep I can of the young pass-rusher. (I think)
But don’t worry, this won’t be another rant about Phillips. Instead, this is about the NFL’s highest-graded rookie in week one—at least according to Pro Football Focus.
That’s right, the 36th-overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Jevon Holland, was PFF’s highest-rated rookie. And just like I did yesterday with my Jaelan Phillips breakdown, I’ve brought the visual evidence to prove it. (I’m essentially a young Martin Scorsese)
But first, here’s what PFF’s Ryan Smith had to say about Jevon Holland’s impressive week one outing.
#Dolphins safety Jevon Holland was the highest-graded rookie in the LEAGUE Week 1— Ryan Smith (@PFF_RyanSmith) September 13, 2021
- 82.5 overall grade
- Forced fumble
- 0 targets in 16 coverage snaps
Photo cred (@MiamiDolphins)#FinsUp pic.twitter.com/Vd3QLAlHE6
Now, as I’ve said in the past, you can agree and disagree with Pro Football Focus. But for this article, I’m going to believe 1000% in their philosophy—because it backs up my own. And that is that Jevon Holland not only played well, but he will be a superstar in Brian Flores's defense.
Now enough about fancy numbers. Let’s check out the tape.
(I was looking forward to breaking down this tape with my baby bottle and captain hook mustache on full display—but I ended up falling asleep. So, I blasted some free audio that Youtube provided me, and I did a breakdown with beautiful white circles. I hope you enjoy it.)
Jevon Holland played 24 snaps on Sunday (32%), and according to PFF, he wasn’t targeted a single time in coverage. But as the tape quickly shows, the plan was quite clear that they would keep everything in front of Holland—and force McCorkle Jones to beat them underneath.
Holland played a ton of single-high, but it was his ability to come down and tackle in the open field that made my ears perk up. (I don’t know if this is a thing.)
The first play happens at 20 seconds. Holland is playing Cover one and immediately reads and reacts to Jones’ pass to Jakobi Meyers on this ‘pERFeCTly ExEcUtEd’ pick play/rub route. Holland covers a ton of ground and puts a nice hit on Meyers to stop him dead in his tracks.
(If you don’t want to watch the full Youtube video, these two plays are a few of the more impressive from the cutup.)
Next was probably the play that stood out most in everyone’s mind. The play can be found at :42 seconds and it is of course the hit on Jonnu Smith. Holland sees the screen pass develop and reacts accordingly. Most impressive, in my opinion, was the way he attacked the 6’3 tight end—meeting him in the hole. And that hit. I don't know about you, but I have a habit of going for the low hit-stick in Madden. That was a bone-crushing hit.
In the rest of the video, you can see how deep Jevon Holland lines up at times. You can see how fast he is and how fluid he is at changing direction. He showcased a lot of the elite tools many saw during his time at Oregon. It was a good performance from a rookie safety that many draft pundits believed the sky truly was the limit.
Jevon Holland will be a superstar, and I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to see what he can do this afternoon vs. the Buffalo Bills.
What were your thoughts on Jevon Holland’s performance vs. the New England Patriots on Sunday? Do you hope to see more reps out of him this weekend vs. the Buffalo Bills? Could he be the difference-maker in this game? Let us know in the comments section below!