O'Halloran: Broncos LB Jeff Holland could be next great undrafted pass rusher – The Denver Post
The first round remains the place to find an elite NFL pass rusher.
Among the top 35 players in sacks last year, 19 (54.3 percent) were chosen in the opening round. And only three – Miami’s Cameron Wake, Carolina’s Mario Addison and Seattle’s Michael Bennett – were not drafted.
But if the opinion of his new defensive coordinator and his 2017 college production serve as indicators, Broncos rookie Jeff Holland has a chance to be the next solid undrafted pass rusher.
Holland, just 20 years old, had 10 sacks last year for Auburn, his only season as a starter, while he waited for Carl Lawson to move on. And he appears to be a fine fit for the Broncos’ scheme. He had sacks against Georgia Southern, LSU, Arkansas (two) and Georgia while lined up in a two-point stance, his likely alignment with the Broncos.
Holland’s role was semi-defined during his team interviews at the scouting combine.
“Basically rushing the passer,” Holland said in early March when asked how teams planned to deploy him. “I think I’m a pretty good pass rusher so going to the next level, I’ll work on the small things like hand placement and different moves that I can use. I think it can be a pretty good deal.”
A bad deal was draft weekend, when Holland was not selected. He quickly agreed to terms with the Broncos even though they had Von Miller, Shane Ray, Bradley Chubb and Shaquil Barrett on roster. Barrett, too, is a former undrafted player.
In non-padded practices, Holland made an impression.
“We record all of the positive (plays) that guys make and right now, he’s blowing people away,” Broncos defensive coordinator Joe Woods said during minicamp last month. “We just need to see what he does in training camp and in