The Miami Dolphins flipped the script on defense by replacing former defensive coordinator Josh Boyer with 40-year coaching vet Vic Fangio over the offseason. Miami switched from a blitz-happy mindset to a conservative approach, forcing opposing offenses to string together 8-10 positive plays to reach the end zone.
Safety Jevon Holland, a 2021 second-round pick, wasted little time adjusting to a new philosophy and has thrived in Fangio’s scheme. He began the year with a 10-tackle performance against the Los Angeles Chargers and forced two fumbles in Week 3 against the Denver Broncos.
Miami’s starting safety has 34 tackles, three pass breakups and three forced fumbles all while allowing just 8.2 yards in coverage — good enough to be deemed the NFL’s top safety through five weeks, according to PFF.
The highest-graded safeties in 2023 | min. 150 snaps pic.twitter.com/TAD0lC0ZCe— PFF (@PFF) October 11, 2023
Holland’s grade of 91.4 leads all safeties who have played at least 150 snaps this season. Jessie Bates III, safety for the Atlanta Falcons, is right behind him with a grade of 91.2 and Cleveland’s Grant Delpit is No. 3 with a grade of 85.1.
The Dolphins lean on Holland to be the secondary’s safety net and he currently ranks fifth in the NFL with 31 solo tackles on the year. Additionally, he’s the only player with more than two forced fumbles this season.
Keep in mind that PFF isn’t the final measuring stick and most fans understand the type of playmaker the Dolphins have in Holland. That said, it never hurts to see ‘Snowman’ get a shoutout for a strong start to the 2023 season.