As we delve further into the Pittsburgh Steelers offseason, our attention has begun to shift towards the draft. Like we’ve done in the past, these reports will cover the prospects of the 2015 NFL Draft, placing an emphasis on those who could help the Steelers the most.
Back-to-back safeties after breaking down Landon Collins yesterday. Today, an evaluation of Louisville safety Gerod Holliman.
#8 – Gerod Holliman/FS Louisville: 6’2 213
– Possesses NFL type size and length
– Playmaker, true center fielder
– Ballhawk with a knack for finding the football
– Size allows him to deliver a big jolt at times
– Shows awareness in center field, reads/diagnoses plays well
– Athletic, ability to high point the football
– Monster 2014 season, nearly untouchable production, record setting with multiple accolades
– Poor run defender
– Misses far too many tackles
– Poor technique, goes too high and doesn’t wrap up
– Too focused on interceptions, takes him out of plays
– Doesn’t rally downhill as quickly as he should, prone to getting flat-footed
– Takes poor angles in the run game
– Questionable effort and motor
– Lacks impact plays when he isn’t able to intercept passes
– Limited starting experience
– Some injury concerns, potentially lingering ones
– 15 career starts
– 2014: 44 tackles 14 INT, 17 PDs
– 1st team All-ACC in 2014
– 1st Team AP All-American
– 2014 recipient of the Jim Thorpe Award, given to nation’s best DB
– 14 INTs in a year ties NCAA single-season record set in 1968
– Played in only three games freshman year due to torn labrum in his left shoulder
– Four-star recruit coming out of high school, 12 INTs his senior year
– Not academically eligible his first year, had to attend a prep school
No matter how they happened, fourteen interceptions in a single-season is an amazing accomplishment. Holliman uses his size, awareness, and ability to high point the football to always be around the ball. Some of his picks were relatively easy but they’re still game-changing plays. Two interceptions vs Florida State and three against Boston College. And he should’ve had four against them, dropping a pass late in the game.
He fumbled this pick away at the end of this one but shows the ability to find and high point the ball, picking off Jameis Winston.
Good awareness to get his head around and immediately pick off this pass versus Boston College. Helps seal the win.
Unfortunately, it’s the only part of his game. Some have speculated his shoulder injury have led to his shoddy tackling, but regardless of the reason, the dude doesn’t tackle.
There are technique issues. Attempts are too high and it leads to him having trouble of bringing the runner down.
Gets flat footed and has trouble making the tackle. Misses Nick O’Leary.
Brutal angle downhill, missing the back, and helping to give up a long touchdown.
Or just flat out failing to wrap up, opting to hope the receiver is shoved out of bounds.
The shoulder injury happened two years ago. If he can pick off 14 passes, he can tackle. It’s not an excuse. And even if it is a valid one, I’m not interested in selecting a player who is still suffering from an injury that is clearly effecting a big facet of his game.
His focus around interceptions seems to alter his mentality at times with the ball in the air, too. More focused on the INT than he is driving on the ball and challenging the catch point.
This is a nice snag by the receiver but it’s a bold assumption by Holliman. Doesn’t play the route, just hopes for the pick. That’s not going to fly in the NFL. Those receivers make difficult catches look routine. Needs to be aggressive, drive on the route, and treat an interception as a bonus.
See it in the screenshot below, too.
I could potentially forgive all of that if it wasn’t for moments like this one against BC. This is clear-cut poor and downright lazy effort. A light jog against a 237 pound, slow-footed WR who nearly takes this one to the house. Unacceptable and the type of play that gets you benched, regardless of the INTs you record.
Even if the Steelers decide to shift their philosophy of what they look for in the secondary, Holliman’s tackling skills wouldn’t mesh in the most lenient of schemes. It’s some Asante Samuel level incompetence. Deion Sanders looks like Night Train Lane compared to this prospect.
If I’m Mike Tomlin, this is a guy who isn’t even on my draft board.
Projection: Late First
Games Watched: at Clemson, vs Florida State, vs Boston College
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