When the Miami Dolphins selected Oregon safety in the second round of the 2021 NFL draft, they knew they were getting a good player who was slipping due to his decision to opt out of his final year during the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, Holland’s performance as a rookie was everything the Dolphins could’ve asked for and more. He finished the year playing in 16 games, recording 69 tackles, 10 passes defended, three fumbles recovered, 2.5 sacks, two fumbles forced and two interceptions.
Pro Football Focus even graded him as the fourth-best safety in the NFL last season.
Holland’s rookie year has other organizations taking notice. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler recently put together a list (subscription required) of the league’s top safeties as decided by a number of league executives, players, coaches and scouts.
While Holland just missed the top 10 list, he was named an honorable mention. According to Fowler, one “high-ranking exec” had some great things to say about Miami’s safety.
“Given what he’s asked to do, he’s elite,” the exec said.
Another NFL talent evaluator said that Holland has “really high upside, can find the ball, redirect in space. I want to see him do it again before saying he’s a top-10 guy.”
With most of the Dolphins’ defense and coordinator remaining in tact from 2021, there’s no reason why Holland shouldn’t continue to grow and find himself making the cut for the 2023 edition of this list.