2021 NFL draft: Safety Jevon Holland might be too compelling for Chargers to pass up on

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Gavino Borquez
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The Chargers will be looking to strengthen their secondary in this year’s draft, especially the safety position.

Not only is Los Angeles lacking depth, considering the team only has three players on the roster – Derwin James, Nasir Adderley and Alohi Gilman, high level of defensive back play is essential in head coach Brandon Staley’s system.

“I don’t think you can have enough DBs just in the current NFL,” Staley said.

Should Staley be aggressive to find a safety that fits his scheme, there is a high-caliber player that will likely be available when L.A. is on the clock with pick No. 47.

That player is Oregon’s Jevon Holland.

A consensus four-star recruit out of Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland, Calif., Holland made an immediate impact in his freshman year by making 44 tackles, defending 11 passes, and finishing second in the Pac-12 with five interceptions.

In 2019, Holland was an All-Pac-12 second-team defender after recording 66 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, eight passes defended, and four interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown. He opted out of the 2020 season to prepare for the draft.

From a physical standpoint, Holland stands at 6-foot-1 and 207 pounds.

Staley is a big advocate of position versatility in the secondary and Holland displayed that for the Ducks, having lined up in the box, the slot and from a two-high safety spot, where he served as a key piece in the pass and run defense.

In the passing game, Holland has the play speed to turn and run to stay in phase up the field with receivers. He shows plus vision to diagnose multiple routes while ID’ing the quarterback and the instincts and burst to quickly close and secure the football in a hurry.

Against the run, Holland is consistently pursuing across the field or attacking downhill. He has excellent take-on ability and length to shed blockers and he is an explosive and fundamentally sound tackler to drive through ball carriers.

In addition, Holland offers special teams experience, as he was an outstanding punt returner for the Ducks, averaging 15.3 yards per return in 2019. Plus, his toughness and tackling skills would benefit on coverage units.

Adding Holland might be one of Staley’s ideal scenarios come draft day, and that could come to the fruition, given the fact that the team is certainly interested in him.

Holland confirmed that he met with Los Angeles and Derwin James.

Overall, Holland would be an instant contributor for the Bolts where his versatility in the box, slot, and third level of the field would be put to good use, capable of making a lot of plays against the pass, run and on special teams.