The Ohio State defensive line has been an embarrassment of riches for a number of years. That’s great for the team as a whole, and certainly helps when it comes to the NFL Draft, but it does mean that some considerable talent is going to have to fight to see the field.
While Jalyn Holmes played in every game for the Ohio State defense from 2015 through this January’s Cotton Bowl, he only made nine starts in his career, all in the 2017-2018 season. That being said, he certainly made an impact for the Buckeyes as he was selected by both the Big Ten media and coaches as an All-Big Ten honorable mention during each of his last two seasons in Columbus.
During his junior year in 2016, nine of Holmes’ 33 tackles were for loss, and he recovered two fumbles. His senior season showed a downturn in his tackles for loss (3), but he still accounted for 30 stops, including 18 solo. However, when you look at the film of Ohio State’s defense, often times ends were designed to eat up blockers in order to open space for other blitzers, severely limiting the DEs’ ability to compile stats.
Despite his lack of eye-popping numbers, there is no doubt that Holmes will fight to prove that he is ready to compete at the next level.
Holmes, who is 6’5 and 270 pounds, has a frame that could still add some substantial muscle, making him even more difficult to block at the point of attack. His spin move is impressive, and should help make up for his lack of top-line speed.
Here’s what the pros are saying in his NFL Combine Scouting Report:
STRENGTHS: Long-limbed with frame to pack on more functional muscle. Looks awkward in movements, but is sneaky strong. Can shudder a blocker’s pads with strong pop from his hands. Conversion of speed to power as a bull rusher is impressive when he gets momentum rolling downhill. Played inside a scheme that asked defensive linemen to give themselves up with slants which limited production. Has length and natural power to become a more dominant player at point of attack. Long levers suit him as an interior pass rusher. Has a spin move that could become a weapon.
WEAKNESSES: Doesn’t play with much suddenness or quick-twitch. Tight hips cause sluggish lateral movement. Has trouble sinking and scrapping against down blocks due to high center of gravity. Won’t “out-athlete” opponents. Stagnant in stop-start situations. Lack of speed and quickness limit range as a tackler. Offers very little pass rush talent as a 4-3 defensive end. Long strider with limited upfield burst to challenge the edge. Takes too long to loop and attack the pocket on twists. Needs to improve hand usage.
- Height: 6-4 7/8”
- Weight: 283 lbs
- Hand size: 10”
- Arm length: 34”
- Wingspan: 81 7/8”
Bench press: 25 reps
40-yard dash: 4.82 sec
4.84 unofficial for #Buckeyes DL Jalyn Holmes pic.twitter.com/GL5jXwxRMN— Brad Crawford (@BCrawford247) March 4, 2018
Vertical jump: 32.0”
Jalyn Holmes and Sam Hubbard back to back. Karl Dunbar telling them it's not a race. pic.twitter.com/PA2ANXKMP3— Ty Wurth (@WurthDraft) March 4, 2018
Interview Notables and Quotables
The former Buckeye captain spoke to the media on Saturday, and wasn’t shy to address that that he wants to show teams that his size doesn’t define him, and that he’s also light on his feet. He’s already made the case during his career in Columbus and now just wants to show that his talent will translate to the NFL.
I think these drills, 40, bench press, everything here just shows everybody I’m a versatile guy. I’m a big guy that can also run a lot of positions on the football field. I’m just here showing what I do on film every Saturday and trying to get to Sunday.
Working with head former NFL coach Greg Schiano during his time at Ohio State also helped prepare Holmes to make the jump to the next level.
It was a great experience. An NFL coach, it felt like an NFL coach. It felt like every coach we had at Ohio State, they treated you like an NFL team. Ohio State was a mini-NFL team in a way. When I go to these NFL teams now, we talk it’s the same deal. I learned them traits at Ohio State to act like a professional there. So when I come here, it’s second nature.
Holmes’ versatility throughout the defensive line wasn’t the initial plan, but a quick chat with coach Larry Johnson changed the way he’s spent the past couple seasons preparing. When he started preparing for his new role, he studied film of guys like Joey Bosa and Adolphus Washington to learn the subtle nuances of the three-technique.
Before my junior year, I’m watching film and coach Johnson walked up. ‘You want to play three-technique on third down?’ ‘Cool.’ It just went from there. Guys like Tracy Sprinkle, coach Johnson, they made it easy for me to go there and coming to master that. By my fourth year, it was second nature to me.
The defensive end is expected by a mid-round draft pick in April, and largely considered a good candidate to be taken in Round 3. His size and versatility certainly helps his draft stock, and he told the media he had formal meetings with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs early on at the Combine.
Player Profiles and Combine Result Links
|Player||Position||Everything you need to know|
|Player||Position||Everything you need to know|
|J.T. Barrett||QB||Draft Profile|
|Marcus Baugh||TE||Draft Profile|
|Jerome Baker||LB||Draft Profile|
|Jalyn Holmes||DE||Draft Profile|
|Sam Hubbard||DE||Draft Profile|
|Jamarco Jones||OT||Draft Profile|
|Tyquan Lewis||DL||Draft Profile|
|Billy Price||C/G||Draft Profile|
|Denzel Ward||CB||Draft Profile|
|Damon Webb||SAF||Draft Profile|
|Chris Worley||LB||Draft Profile|