Devonte Holloman Scouting Report

February 9th, 2013

Holloman’s versatility and cover skills are real assets

QB / RB / FB / WR / TE / OT / OG / OC / DT / DE / OLB / ILB / CB / SAF
Prospect: Devonte Holloman, LB, South Carolina
Height: 6’1.5”
Weight: 246 lbs at Shrine Game weigh in
Grade: 7.05 (Grading Scale)

Scouting Report:

Athleticism:
+Converted safety moves very well
+Coordinated, smooth athlete in space
+Has plus speed (est. 4.55) and good closing burst with a chase gear
+Bulked up without sacrificing speed
-Even with added bulk he’s still not any more than average strength for a linebacker
-Shows some tightness in ankles, impacts ability to change direction quickly

Run Defense:
+Shows good instincts and awareness
+Maintains gap integrity and backside containment very religiously
+Aggressively takes on blocks to free up others (primarily Swearinger behind him) to make tackle
-Lacks functional power in lower body, can be driven backwards
-Really struggles to shed blocks, has little concept of how to use his hands while engaged
-Shows a tendency to be overly cautious when pursuing outside the hashes, seldom breaks loose at full speed

Coverage:
+It shows that he played safety for his first three years, very good in coverage
+Has good zone awareness, understands how to transition receivers and flow
+Shows the ability to turn and run with inside receivers and flexed out tight ends
+Demonstrated excellent pre-snap recognition of routes and options during Shrine Week and game film
+Lines up frequently in slot, showed he can play press-bail on smaller receivers from the slot
+Quick to make the tackle after the catch
+Opportunistic ballhawk in coverage that doesn’t often bite on double moves
-Effectiveness diminishes the further he gets from the line of scrimmage

Blitz:
+Asked to blitz from the slot and when lined up tight over TE
+Often gets good jump on snap
+/-Not afraid to take on blocker or initiate contact, but doesn’t know what to do with his hands to shed
-Short armed a few sack attempts, cannot close with both speed and body control
-Very straight-linish as a blitzer

Intangibles:
+Very good at communicating pre-snap, can line up the defense and make coverage adjustments
+Named team Scholar Athlete of year in 2010, several honor roll mentions
+Personable leader with positive reinforcement and relentless encouragement
-Has an arrest for DUI before junior season

Overview: Devonte Holloman began his SC career as a safety and saw action right away as a true freshman. He added about 20 pounds for his senior year as he moved forward to play the “spur” role, a hybrid OLB/S position. His versatility showed, as he lined up frequently in the slot but also inside in nickel situations. His best asset is his coverage skills, where he is instinctive and rangy. Holloman is a smart football player; during a Shrine Game practice I stood next to him on the sideline and observed him calling out the routes and coverage adjustments for his teammates and he was almost never wrong. He is NFL-ready as a nickel/coverage backer and has some ability to blitz as well.

What holds Holloman back from being a more highly regarded prospect is his frustrating inability to get off blocks. His hand usage is poor, and he lacks both the strength and flexibility to leverage himself off. Some of that is inexperience playing close to the line and reflects his background as a safety, and it should improve. What won’t improve is his straight-linish speed or power. Still, his multi-positional awareness and versatility make him a more valuable asset in today’s NFL than he would have been even five years ago. Holloman figures to be a 4th or early 5th round pick that can play right away in nickel packages and excel on special teams, with enough potential to emerge as a starter for a team that values his intelligence and cover skills. He has a chance to grossly outplay his draft position.

Scouting Notes:
South Carolina vs. Georgia
-kept edge integrity and worked off block to stop end around for TFL
-gets INT off deflected pass with diving catch at full extension
-blitzes off slot, easily nullified by cut block
-quickly closes out stretch run, avoids block and makes tackle
-jumps a quick sideline pass with great burst but drops the easy INT and likely pick six
-shoulders get turned by tight end on edge in run support
-showed a consistent inability to get off blocks with poor hand usage, tries to spin off almost every time

South Carolina at LSU (seen in person)
-crashes too far inside and gets washed out by tackle on edge run
-lined up in slot, jumps slant route that forces QB to double clutch and leads to throwaway
-blitzes off strong side, RB easily stones him with good pad level
-holds edge containment, forces stretch run wide and out of bounds
-lined up over B gap, drops quickly to good depth into zone and forces high throw
-locked up by tight end, pushed outside and backwards
-anticipates cutback and closes quickly for solid form tackle

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