Jevon Holland’s reputation as a ball hawk in the NFL could blossom this season, if his strong start to training camp is any indication.
The former Oregon standout the Miami Dolphins’ selected in the second round of the 2021 draft has seemingly settled into the starting free safety role, which he didn’t hold until midseason last year. It’s also clear he’s becoming a leader and one of the defense’s top playmakers.
During Friday’s short practice, Holland stepped in front of a Tua Tagovailoa pass to Jaylen Waddle and pulled down an interception that would have changed possession in scoring territory for the offense.
Holland, who contributed 69 tackles, two interceptions, forced two fumbles and recovered three during the 16 games he played as a rookie last season, seems to be coming into his own in the scheme, taking more command of the secondary.
If Holland can continue to bring down interceptions and create turnovers in year two, he might become an even bigger focal point of the Dolphins defense.
Linebacker Duke Riley picked off a Teddy Bridgewater pass during an 11-on-11 period, but the throw was rushed by John Jenkins, who applied press on the play after easily getting past the center….
During Miami’s 1-on-1 offensive vs. defense sessions, Jenkins, a 10-year veteran, was a handful for any interior lineman to keep from penetrating the pocket…..
Linebacker Sam Eguavoen pulled down an interception during 1-on-1 drills…..
Cornerback Xavien Howard, who sparingly participates in 11-on-11 work, blanketed Tyreek Hill on a Bridgewater throw during 1-on-1s and deflected the pass….
Tailback Raheem Mostert, who is on a veteran maintenance program because of the left knee injury that sidelined him for all but one game last season, participated in Friday’s practice and delivered a couple of impressive runs, showcasing eye-opening speed…..
Outside linebacker Darius Hodge set the edge well during 11-on-11 drills and would have produced a tackle for loss and would have shared a sack with Ben Stille on quarterback Skylar Thompson….
Linebacker Brennan Scarlett had a good showing on the edge of Miami’s defense, setting the edge on run plays and applying pressure to quarterbacks….
Offensive guard Liam Eichenberg was the orange jersey player for Friday’s session, which means he was deemed the top performer from Thursday’s practice. Problem is, there was a mishap with his playlist, which is the honor bestowed to the orange jersey performer, and it led to the same three songs being played over and over again for the first few practice sessions. Eventually, Eichenberg’s rock and bluegrass-centric playlist started playing.
Braylon Sanders, an undrafted rookie receiver from Ole Miss who was a big play producer at the college level (averaged 21.1 yards per catch during his career), has begun to stretch the field for the Dolphins. Sanders caught a 50-yard touchdown pass from Tagovailoa, which was a byproduct of Nik Needham diving for a deflection and the safety overrunning the play. The defensive breakdown allowed Sanders to jog the final 10 yards into the end zone.
Just about everyone in the receiver unit has shined at some point in the first week except Lynn Bowden Jr. The former third-round pick the Dolphins traded for in the 2020 season missed all of last season while being stashed on injured reserve. The former Kentucky quarterback, who has elite run-after-catch ability, hasn’t made his presence felt in camp’s first week, and that’s a bad sign for a player who is on the outside looking in at earning a spot on the 53-man roster.
Outside linebacker Melvin Ingram, fullback Alec Ingold and tailback Sony Michel each had veteran management days on Friday, sitting out the days work while working on the side.
Center Michael Deiter, whose foot was in a boot, and defensive lineman Adam Butler sat out their third day of practice with undisclosed injuries.
Left tackle Terron Armstead practiced on a limited basis after sitting out Thursday.