In a continued effort to find the ballhawk safety that the Dallas Cowboys so desperately need, it is time to review one of the most hyped safeties in the 2015 draft. Gerod Holliman stands out like a sore thumb but maybe not for the reasons you think he does.
Free Safety, University of Louisville
Holliman's numbers were unreal this season. It was his first season where he had any significant playing time, courtesy of Calvin Pryor moving on to the NFL. He had a knack for creating turnovers with 15. Having caught 14 passes intended for his adversaries you can easily say that Holliman is a ball-hawk. When you look at his tackling numbers you could say that he shies away from contact.
Stats provided by Sports-Reference.com
As with any free safety you must have good range. Holliman moves around well in defensive backfield. Someone who could snag 14 interceptions would have to. He shows the ability to get to a certain point on the field with very few wasted steps. This is a very positive trait if you want to play single high safety at the next level.
Much like Holliman's range, his coverage skills are his biggest strength. He tracks the ball well and when it is in the air he goes after it. While going into his back pedal Holliman can also keep his eye on the quarterback. He has the ability to click-and-close which will serve him well at the next level.
Holliman shows his athleticism on the tape. He gets from sideline to sideline with ease. As stated before he doesn't use many wasted steps. He has the straight line speed needed to close on the ball carrier. This is what makes Holliman so infuriating to watch. He has all of the tools but Holliman can come off as lazy.
As much as his production stands out in the passing game, it is that much of a glaring hole in other parts. He shows little to no effort in attempting to step up and stop the run. His motor can be questioned. His tackling technique needs work. He doesn't wrap up and he attempts to tackle ball carriers with his right shoulder. Obviously he is still trying to protect his left shoulder that was injured two years ago.
Holliman isn't anywhere near where you want a top tier safety to be. His technique and motor can't be overcome by the gaudy interception numbers. It would be difficult to put him in this defense and mask his inadequacies in tackling. I would have problems taking him in the first or second round.