With the No. 102 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings picked defensive end Jalyn Holmes out of Ohio State. He’ll join Pat Elflein in Minnesota and with some development during training camp, could be a contributor in Year 1.
So, why should you be excited the Vikings drafted Holmes? We’ve got you covered:
1. Not much tread on his tires
Jalyn Holmes came to Ohio State in the class of 2014 as a highly touted four-star, ranked as the No. 4 defensive end in the country and the No. 4 prospect in the talented state of Virginia. Unfortunately for the US Army All-American, he joined a loaded Ohio State defensive line that included Joey Bosa, Sam Hubbard, Tyquan Lewis, and later on Nick Bosa and Chase Young.
Albeit talented, Holmes was injected into a highly competitive rotation where he was on the outside looking in during his first two seasons — playing only 10 total games during that time period. Good news though, he should be fresher than most.
2. He’s got a very high ceiling
Sure, Holmes could have transferred and started basically anywhere else, but he stuck it out and made a great impact during his final two seasons, where he was two-time All-Big Ten and was named a team captain his senior season. Since he’s never been an every-down player, what he accomplished in those limited snaps shows that he has a very high ceiling and should be a more impactful pro than collegiate player.
“I tell you, if you go back and watch film on Jalyn last year, I thought he played the most consistent of all the guys,” Johnson said before last season. “I think he is a starter in my mind. He practices like a starter and practices with the ones, so to me, he is a one.
In today’s pass-happy NFL, he has the skill-set and size to bump down to the interior and rush the passer, as shown below (No. 11). He’s strong as an ox and prefers to bull rush, rather than use his speed — or lack thereof.
Jalyn Holmes might end up being a more productive pro than college player... Nice rep and burst to finish vs RG pic.twitter.com/ljgnUp2dLB— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) April 22, 2018
3. Ohio State has the best coached defensive line in the country
Not only can the Buckeyes recruit the position better than any program not named Alabama, but once they get there, they explode and reach their potential. Defensive line coach Larry Johnson is regarded as the best defensive line coach in the country. Joey Bosa is arguably the best defensive end in the league, while Nick Bosa and Chase Young are future top five picks.
When Holmes was asked when he thought the NFL was a possibility, he responded with, “When I got to Ohio State. I’m playing with teammates and training with guys who were getting drafted in the first round every year. It makes you think, ‘It’s going to be my time one year.’”
”I think he brings a lot to the table. He has got high-energy, great leadership skills and he wants to be great.” Larry Johnson said. “And a guy who works as he hard as he does to be in a position he is right now, I am really excited about what Jalyn can bring to the table. I look forward to watching him play going through this next year.”
4. Holmes puts the team first
It had to have been frustrating to watch his teammates get all of the accolades, when he could have been in that position at another school, but he kept with it as a Buckeye and it’s something that should be admired.
“Playing all the positions has been an experience,” Holmes said. “It’s helped me grow more as a football player because I was able to change from DE to nose guard in the same game. It forces you to study even more and to be ready.”
Him putting extreme faith in Urban Meyer and the rest of his coaching staff to put him in the best chance to succeed as a college football player and as an NFL prospect shows that he’s coachable and bought into the program.
5. He doesn’t forget
Back in 2016, Ohio State was set to face Baker Mayfield’s Oklahoma Sooners. Before the game, they had a not-so-smart freshman quarterback say that Ohio State had a “basic defense” and that Mayfield would “light them up.” After throttling the Sooners by three touchdowns down in Norman, Holmes took this sign onto the field and flaunted it.
Jayln Holmes will have NONE of that basic defense. pic.twitter.com/v49qvu4ydT— Jerod Smalley (@JerodNBC4) September 18, 2016
Any concerns about Holmes?
The first two reasons why you should be excited about Holmes, could be the two reasons why you should be concerned about Holmes. Yes, Holmes was behind a couple of generational talents and other quality future NFL players at Ohio State, but the NFL is the best of the best. If he can’t consistently crack the lineup in college, what makes people think that he’ll all of a sudden become a better professional? Only time will tell.
Will Holmes see playing time as a rookie?
This poll is closed
Yes, but he’ll be moved from the edge to inside