Name: Deon Hollins
Height: 6'0" Weight: 230lbs
Age: 22 Experience: Rookie
The 2017 NFL Draft came and went without UCLA’s Deon Hollins name being called. However, like many other undrafted guys, their phones started ringing with contract offers from multiple teams. One team to come calling Hollins was the Denver Broncos, and Hollins eventually decided to join the Broncos defense.
Hollin played four seasons at UCLA but didn’t put up big numbers during his tenure there. During his four-year career, Hollins totaled 61 tackles, 18 tackles for a loss, 13.5 sacks, 5 pass deflections, 2 fumble recoveries, and 1 forced fumble. This past season he only played in 3 games but totaled 5 tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss and 2 sacks.
Deon Hollins is talented man. I still haven't gotten into his tape heavily, but the flashes are awesome pic.twitter.com/00nupnCURX— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) February 14, 2017
Hollins is an interesting player who really doesn’t have a position. He played some outside linebacker and defensive end in college, but his height/weight(6’0”, 230lbs) make him a poor fit at those spots in the NFL. So could he could shift inside to inside linebacker? It’s possible but he really lacks the ability and instincts to play in space.
The one thing he can do is rush the passer, and that’s what the Broncos are going to have him do. They have him listed as outside linebacker/edge rusher, but to make this team he will have to make his mark on Special Teams.
Hollins is a good pass rusher who transitions speed to power pretty well. If you can get after the passer, you will have a role in the Broncos defense no matter your height or weight.
In 2014, he did have 9 sacks for the UCLA Bruins but didn’t come near that total again during his college career. He’s a talented player with some upside but just needs to find the right coaching staff to figure out what to do with him.
He really lacks a position in the NFL. Too small to play defensive end, and really doesn’t have the ideal height/arms to play edge rusher in the NFL. He also does not have the instincts and ability to play in space and cover, so it is hard to place him in a spot.
His likely role will be as an undersized situational pass rusher and special teams player in the NFL.
Another negative in Hollins game is his tackling. His form is sloppy and he is a bit of a “grab and pull down” tackler instead of a wrap-up and take down tackler. So that is something he will need to work this offseason with the Broncos. Finally, Hollins figures to struggle against NFL lineman. He had issues in college with tackles who could square him up. He is a strong guy but can be easily held in check by bigger offensive lineman with long arms.
He is definitely on the outside looking in right now. He will need to impress during Training Camp and during the Preseason to have a shot. The Broncos coaches will also have to figure out how and where to use him. If they can do all that, he could push for that fourth and/or fifth outside linebacker spot.
Ultimately I think a Practice Squad spot is waiting for Hollins.