We have looked a lot at first, second and third round talent, but every now and again someone at the back end of the draft makes the difference. Last year we selected Antonio Allen from South Carolina, well when Allen left it was DeVonte Holloman that stepped up to fill the vacant 'SPUR' role that Allen played. In the 4-2-5 defense that South Carolina play, the SPUR position is vital, the hybrid role between linebacker and safety. As a SPUR player, you need to have a very high football IQ, you need to be able to run like a safety, hit like a linebacker and rush the passer like a OLB. Throughout his career he has been the strong safety in the gamecock defense, however in 2012 he made the move to the SPUR and had a good year. Where does he fit in the NFL? where I thought Antonio fit as a safety - I believe that DeVonte's best position will be the SAM linebacker in a 4-3 defensive system. It's still unclear how much 3-4/4-3 we will play this year, but if we are looking to play a lot more 4-3, having some depth by selecting a guy like Holloman at the back end of the draft isn't the worst idea in the world.
Arms: 32 1/2"
40 time: 4.76 seconds
Bench: 15 reps
3 cone: 7.30 seconds
20 yard shuttle: 4.26 seconds (Top Performer)
|Season||Tackles||Tackles FAL||Interceptions||Sacks||Forced Fumbles|
Good frame that is packed with strength. Has violent hands and does well to rip off blocks and seal containment when lining up over the tight end. Does have good tackling ability, can deliver the hit but knows that wrapping up and bringing down the ball carrier is much more important. Does have good initial acceleration which makes him an appealing blitzer, although he didn't record many sacks - his ability to close on the QB quickly forced a lot of errant throws. Time as a safety means he can drop into coverage against tight ends and slot receivers. Shows a good football IQ to diagnose the play and take the best possible route to prevent a big play.
Doesn't show great fluidity through the hips when turning to run, little high in the backpedal and doesn't show good straight line speed. Looks stiff when changing direction and struggles to track faster players, may be concerning as everything in the NFL is that bit quicker. Although he showed good production at South Carolina, I cant help but think he could and should have done more.
The earliest that DeVonte will probably go is the 5th round, but I'd say he settles at the top of the 6th. He has a lot to like about his game, and his football IQ is something that you just can't teach. However his stiffness in the hips and lack of fluidity may cause him some problems, they shouldn't be issues for former safeties. Like I said at the top of this article, his future probably sits with a 4-3 team where he can line up over the tight end, and use those hands to contain the running lanes and rip off to make some stops. Is he ever going to be a pro bowler? probably not, but he can be a very useful 53 man squad player, and he'll give his all on special teams.
Would I draft him for the Jets?
I can see he has talent, so if he is there in the 6th round, then yeah I'll take him. Some are pegging him in the 4th, but it's the same as Antonio Allen, I had him in the 4th round but he went in the 7th. If we are going to play more 4-3 this year then I would like a SAM backer who has the capability to shed blockers and get to the ball carrier. So yes I would draft him, but only in the 6th.