After opting out of the 2020 college football season during the COVID-19 pandemic to prepare for the NFL Draft, former Oregon standout Jevon Holland is getting his first taste of organized team activities in over a year.
The No. 36 overall pick by the Miami Dolphins took the field for rookie minicamp at the Dolphins Nova Southeastern training facility on Monday. While team staff and reporters took in their first impressions of the rookie class, Holland admits he’s still soaking up everything he can.
“I think it’s important to be as well-rounded as possible and absorb as much knowledge as possible,” Holland said Monday about his experience at Dolphins rookie minicamp. “I feel like I am in the rookie class and progressing.”
So far, the defensive back out of Oregon is impressive. Head coach Brian Flores recently said Holland was one of his favorite players to watch out of this year’s draft.
“I really enjoyed watching Jevon play for a lot of reasons. The way he tackles, the way he defeats blocks, a lot of ball production, his versatility – he played some nickel, played some deep safety,” Flores said. “There are a lot of things to like… I think he’s got leadership qualities. I think he’s got the ability to communicate and really quarterback a defense because he’s smart.”
The productive playmaker prides himself on quarterbacking a defense, as Flores noted, and bringing a team mentality to each drill. For now, though, Holland is just sitting back and seeing where he fits into the bigger picture.
“Just trying to get as wide a perspective as possible as a player,” Holland explained. “I’m new to the team. I’m trying to find my role, so really trying to absorb everything, like I’ve said previously, and really just help the team in any way.”
As a freshman at Oregon, Holland led the Ducks with five interceptions. He followed that performance up with an All-Pac-12 sophomore season, where he once again led the team in interceptions with 4. He became the first Oregon player since Jairus Byrd (2006, 2007) to lead the team in interceptions in back-to-back seasons.
In 14 games in 2019 as starting nickel, Holland recorded 66 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, four interceptions, four pass deflections, and a pick-six.
If Holland’s trajectory in Miami is anything like his time at Oregon, the Dolphins may have found one of their stars for years to come.