After sitting out the 2020 season due to the pandemic, Jevon Holland was selected by the Miami Dolphins in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Earlier this week, he signed his rookie contract, all but cementing his spot as the projected starting free safety.
The Dolphins’ defense has been looking for some youth at the safety position. During Brian Flores’ first two seasons, the team has used a cornerback in the safety position moving Eric Rowe over. Miami also has cut ties with longtime safety Bobby McCain this offseason paving the way for Holland to make an immediate impact.
The former Duck enters the upcoming NFL season looking to make waves with Miami and could be a rookie starter on defense. Holland played in 27 games and made his mark with Oregon football over two seasons from 2018 to 2019. He had 110 tackles to go with nine interceptions and 19 passes defended in his two seasons in Eugene.
Entering this season, Miami still has Rowe listed at safety. The position has the most youth on the defense with several players with fewer than three years of experience. Brandon Jones and Nate Holley bring three years of combined experience on the field, outside of Rowe who is the most veteran safety currently.
With Holland in the fold, he can be a difference-maker in the preseason and work his way into the mix and possibly the starter, where he’s projected, which would allow Rowe to move back to his strong safety position — this would allow Holland to drop in at free safety.
The former Oregon football star in a good spot
According to Dolphins Wire, most positions on the Miami defense are set for the upcoming season, in part due to strong end-of-season performances or signed free agents between the end of last year and now.
For the free safety position, it’s Holland’s to lose. Miami is high on their second-round signing along with his football intelligence early on. He has yet to show it on the field, but if he does the position will be his.
The NFL preseason gets started for the Miami Dolphins on Aug. 14 at 10 a.m. PST.