Name: Jalyn Holmes
School: Ohio State
Position: Defensive End
Throughout Holmes’ Buckeye career, he was at times, lost in the shuffle of the great Ohio State defensive line. But he found his niche in third down situations and in the “Rushman Package” (four defensive linemen on the field together). While he may not be a textbook tackler right now, he uses his tremendous athleticism to make plays. His speed and power are quite attractive to NFL teams; any defensive coordinator worth their salt will think they can turn Holmes into a tackling machine.
Again, Holmes is a pretty raw prospect. Throughout his time as a Buckeye, he played behind guys like Sam Hubbard, Tyquan Lewis and Nick Bosa. But has a very high ceiling potential in the NFL. His technique right now is based off a lot of speed rushing ability. Once an NFL team is able to get Holmes on the roster and teach him some more pass rushing techniques, the sky could be the limit.
Holmes was one of the better athletes at Ohio State, and ran a 40 in the 4.6 time frame. A player running a 4.6 at 270 is absolutely classified as a freak athlete, and that is certainly what Holmes is. He has great power and agility that has been used to get in opponents backfields.
Holmes needs development in this area. As a junior, he had a big year, collecting nine tackles for loss. During his senior year, he only had two tackles for a loss. However, a lot of this comes from the Rushman package that was described earlier. In this package, Holmes’ job is simply to attack the quarterback and create pressure. A great example of this was during the Penn State game on the last series where he brought pressure on Trace McSorely. The pressure caused an incompletion and Ohio State won the game on that play.
Aggression is absolutely a trait that teams are going to want to see with Holmes. His physical frame is everything you look for in a defensive end, and teams got to see some of the aggression during the Senior Bowl. Holmes was one of the best players on the field, accounting for two sacks and a pass broken up. The two sacks were the most of any player at the Senior Bowl. Holmes showed his aggression and his draft stock is rising because of it.
Defensive end is an area that the Vikings are going to look to upgrade during the mid-rounds of the 2018 draft. The Vikings defensive line is lead by Everson Griffin and Danielle Hunter. After that, the future of Brian Robison is unclear, as he is contemplating retirement. The Vikings have now second year pro, Tashawn Bower, who flashed some potential, but has not received major playing time. The Vikings saw in the playoffs from the Eagles that teams that have multiple guys that can rush the quarterback can really take over a game. The Eagles kept their rushers fresh while the Vikings offensive line was never able to recover.
After Holmes’ huge Senior Day performance, he has established himself as a Top 100 pick with the combine coming up. If he is able to physically and athletically dominate the combine like he appears able to, his stock will only continue to rise. If Holmes is available in the third round, look for the Vikings to be interested. Remember, Hunter had fewer than five sacks during his time at LSU, but the physical traits were always there. The same can be said about Holmes.