Miami Dolphins safety Jevon Holland is only 21 years old and just completed his rookie season, but he already has his eyes set on being an old soul in the NFL.
Inspired by Dolphins teammate Jason McCourty, Holland can’t wait to be the wily old veteran bringing Jedi wisdom to his teammates.
“He’s like the Godfather. He knows everything,” Holland told PFF last week. “I want to be somebody, eventually in my career, where I can just be like, ‘Hey, if you need some help, I can help you. I have knowledge about the entire game. I’m like Yoda.’ That’s basically how I see (McCourty), he’s like Yoda.”
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Holland is well on his way to earning the rank of Jedi master after spending his rookie season as one of the top communicators on the Dolphins defense.
McCourty raves about his rookie teammate, even though the 13-year veteran defensive back has the right to hold a grudge over Holland. McCourty received interest from Miami as a free agent, but it was to play safety, and after he saw the Dolphins select Holland in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft, he figured that ship had sailed. Miami wound up signing McCourty anyway, and Holland immediately made a strong impression on the veteran in virtual meetings. McCourty knew his days were numbered as a starter as soon as he saw Holland take the field, however.
“I was like, ‘All right, I’ll probably start the season starting but at some point, this kid is gonna take over sooner rather than later’ because he was that good,” McCourty said.
He was right. McCourty started the first four games of the season, and Holland took over full-time in Week 5 and went on to become one of the NFL’s best safeties.
When you speak to Holland, it’s instantly apparent he’s wise beyond his years. He had a remarkable rookie season despite playing just two years of college football prior to opting out for the 2020 season, and if it weren’t for Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons running roughshod through the NFL, we’d be talking about Holland as the frontrunner for defensive rookie of the year honors.
Holland was the NFL’s fourth-highest-graded rookie this season behind Kansas City Chiefs center Creed Humphrey, Parsons and Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase. He was the NFL’s fourth-highest-graded safety overall and received the third-highest coverage grade at his position.
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