Darnay Holmes 2020 NFL Draft Profile
2020 NFL Draft
Darnay Holmes is a cornerback out of UCLA who is expected to be a mid-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Holmes is an intelligent, hard worker coming off a nice performance in the Senior Bowl. He should attract attention from plenty of professional teams looking to fill out their secondaries.
College Career: Holmes played high school ball in Calabasas, California (where he was a USA Today High School All-American selection in 2016), so he didn’t have to wander out of state for a college football career at UCLA. He displayed some great work ethic while he was there, enrolling a semester early and graduating with his degree in less than three years.
As a true freshman in 2017, Holmes started 11 of 13 games, finishing with 39 tackles, one tackle for loss, three interceptions and three pass defenses. Once his three seasons were finished, Holmes had collected 120 tackles, eight interceptions and two touchdowns.
Strengths: Despite Holmes’ relatively short stature (5 ft 10 in), he’s a very powerful cornerback with an aggressive nose for the football. He’s got solid field vision and can be a dynamic playmaker, as evidenced by his returning two of his eight college interceptions for touchdowns.
Holmes’ backpedal motion is smooth, and he’s good with his positioning when it comes to stopping quick slant routes. He’s aware enough to get his head turned around toward the quarterback on long throws downfield, and Holmes displays really solid effort and consistency as a tackler.
Weaknesses: Holmes’ major knock is his height; he won’t be able to go up against the lengthy receivers, and he’ll get torched on high throws that he simply can’t reach. His hip work in open space needs some work, as it leads to some awkward transitions that leave him out of position on a route.
Holmes doesn’t really have that quick burst of speed that’s necessary for a shorter corner, and he’s not quite adept at reaching his top gait in a timely fashion. A crafty receiver who is crisp on his routes can cause Holmes to get turned around and out of position as well.
Possible Fits: Even with all the potential drawbacks here, Holmes has the raw skills to become a nice depth corner on an NFL team. The good news is that there are plenty of squads looking to revamp their secondaries in this draft, so he’ll get his chance.
The highest you’ll usually find Holmes ranked in mock drafts is right around the third round. Carolina has the No. 69 overall pick there, and after suffering the free agency loss of James Bradberry, the Panthers could take a hard look at Holmes as a possible replacement.
Further down the board at No. 97 overall are the Browns, and Holmes would fit in well there as a nickel corner covering short routes. Cleveland (and somewhere in the fourth/fifth round) would be a solid landing spot for Holmes to flourish.