Is Gerod Holliman the Answer at Free Safety for Jaguars?


Gerod Holliman plays safety and is entering the 2015 NFL Draft.

The 2015 NFL Draft is seriously short on top-flight safeties.

Free safety is the primary need for the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2015 NFL Draft.

With all of that taken into consideration, let’s look at how Gerod Holliman could help the Jacksonville Jaguars out.

For those of you who don’t know who this guy is or why I’m deciding to highlight him (aside from need), let me throw some bio data your way. Gerod Holliman spent his college days at Louisville and is deciding to come to the NFL after winning the Thorpe Award (for the best defensive back in college football). He put together a ridiculous 14 interceptions in 2014 to go along with a pass defensed. In fact, he did so well that his 15 plays on the ball (a signature stat from the guys over at Pro Football Focus) are tops in his draft class. We also would not want to overlook that those 14 interceptions are tied for the best all time in FBS history.

He’s the kind of ball hawking safety the Jaguars are lacking.

If you aren’t paying attention to safeties you may not have heard of him, though. CBS sports has him projected as a fifth or sixth round pick, but Walter Football has him listed as a second to third round guy. He’s part of a handful of safeties who are relatively jumbled together behind the position’s consensus top pick, Landon Collins from Alabama.

To me, I see Holliman as a player the Jaguars need not just because they have a void at the free safety position, but because they could use all of the instinctive players they can get. At six feet tall he is right around the height head coach Gus Bradley wants. Many assessments of Holliman have him as an instinctive player who takes chances to swing momentum. He is a home run hitter from the defensive side of the ball and that is invaluable – especially for a team like the Jaguars who have failed to cause turnovers and get their defense off the field. The chances paid off for Holliman in his primary year as a starter and I believe they will pay off with the right coaching in the NFL.

Holliman may not be the sexiest pick. He may be a reach wherever the Jaguars pick him (round three sounds fine to me, but round four may be the appropriate “value assessment”). He will, however, immediately improve a free safety position that has been nothing better than a liability over the past few seasons. The Jaguars need a guy like Gerod Holliman, so why not get the guy himself?

Next: Free Safety is the Jaguars' Primary Need

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