Jevon Holland celebrates after sacking Wisconsin quarterback Jack Coan during the second half of the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Jevon Holland celebrates after sacking Wisconsin quarterback Jack Coan during the second half of the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marcio Jose Sanchez

B.C.’s Jevon Holland drafted by Miami Dolphins, 1st Canadian player chosen in NFL draft

Holland, the 1st Canadian chosen, was the 4th pick of the 2nd round. Two more Canadians were drafted in the 3rd round.

After having to sit through the entire opening round of the NFL draft without being taken, Canadian Jevon Holland didn’t have to wait long to hear his name called Friday night.

The Miami Dolphins selected Holland with the fourth pick of the second round, No. 36 overall. That made the Oregon safety from Coquitlam, B.C., the first Canadian drafted.

“Last night, I was a little tossing and turning but I had a good night sleep,” Holland said during a Dolphins zoom call. “I woke up (Friday) morning and went and worked out, then I sat down and was ready (to hear) my name called.

“I’m blessed the Miami Dolphins, coach (Brian) Flores called my name.”

Two more Canadians were drafted in the third round.

The Washington Football Team took Minnesota cornerback Benjamin St-Juste, a Montreal native, No. 74 overall. Then three selections later, the L.A. Chargers selected Tennessee receiver Josh Palmer, of Brampton, Ont.

The final four rounds will be held Saturday.

Palmer, for one, wasn’t content with merely being drafted.

“Just because the draft is going on doesn’t mean I stop working,” Palmer said during a Chargers zoom call. “This is what I’ve been training for and now that it’s here, it’s time to go take advantage of it and be great.”

As an early second-round selection, Holland can expect to sign a four-year deal roughly worth US$8.7 million with a signing bonus of about $3.7 million.

St-Juste’s four-year contract should be worth around $5.1 million with a $1.069-million signing bonus. Palmer can expect a four-year, $5.03-million deal with a $1.02-million signing bonus.

Holland was surprised to be taken by Miami.

“No, I didn’t have any idea.,” he said. “I’m overjoyed.”

More Canadians are expected to follow. Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard (Sherwood Park, Alta) and linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga (Calgary) and Iowa offensive lineman Alaric Jackson (Windsor, Ont.) have also garnered much NFL interest.

The record for most Canadians taken in a draft is four, set in 2014.

“I love being able to represent the Canadian people,” Holland said. “I’m blessed to be in this position representing that many people.

“I’m just honoured to be here.”

Holland was the second defensive back taken in the second, but first safety in the draft.

Holland, a six-foot, 207-pound junior, opted out of the 2020 season to prepare for the 2021 NFL draft. Holland said teams asked him about that decision and he didn’t shy away from answering their queries.

“Everybody wanted to know and so I was honest about it,” he said. “That’s the only thing I could be and we just went from there.”

Holland registered 66 tackles, including 4.5 for a loss, and four interceptions in 14 games for Oregon in 2019. He appeared in 27 career contests with the Ducks, accumulating 108 tackles and nine interceptions.

Holland said seeing action as a receiver in high school helped him develop his ball skills.

“I feel like I have a good sense of how the ball trajectory is going to be in the sky and things like that,” he said. “I definitely think that added to my ball skills and ball-hawking ability.”

At Oregon’s pro day, Holland posted 40-yard dash times of 4.46 and 4.48 seconds. He also registered a 35.5-inch vertical jump, a stellar broad jump of 10 feet six inches and 19 reps in the 225-pound bench press.

Holland also offers versatility as he can also play cornerback and return punts.

On Thursday, Miami selected Alabama receiver Jaylen Waddle with the sixth-overall pick. Waddle was also a dangerous returner for the national-champion Tide.

“Jaylen, that’s my home boy, he’s a hell of a player,” Holland said. “I’m excited to be a Dolphin with him.

“I’m just looking to be on the field with him and all my other teammates. Whatever the coaches want, man, I’m down to do.”

Holland was invited to this year’s NFL combine, but the league eliminated in-person workouts due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Holland comes by his football prowess honestly. His father, John, was a defensive back in both the NFL (San Francisco 1992-93) and CFL (1990, 1993-97 with B.C., Edmonton and Saskatchewan).

“My dad and brother both played football,” Holland said. “It’s really just me trying to follow in their footsteps.

“And then … kind of adapting a passion for myself and I ended up falling in love more with the game at that point.”

The six-foot-three, 205-pound St-Juste, 23, played in five of Minnesota’s seven games this season. He registered 14 tackles and broke up three passes while earning academic All Big-10 honours.

“One of the exciting things about him is his physical play, his physical nature,” Washington head coach Ron Rivera said during a zoom call. “(He’s) a guy who will come up to the line of scrimmage and be physical and a guy who will tackle.”

St-Juste began his college career at Michigan, playing as a freshman in 2017 before redshirting in 2018 due to a hamstring injury that ultimately affected his scholarship status. He transferred to Minnesota in 2019, appearing in all 13 games (starting nine) and finished tied for the team lead with 10 pass breakups.

St-Juste showed versatility at the Senior Bowl in January, performing well at both cornerback and safety. He was also invited to the NFL combine but that event was held virtually, putting more weight on St-Juste’s performance in Mobile, Ala.

“He did a really good job at the Senior Bowl, he caught my eye there,” Washington GM Martin Mayhew said. “The guy is six foot three, he runs well, he uses his hands and length well.

“A lot of time you see big corners and they’re not as aggressive at the line as they could be. This guy utilizes his length at the line of scrimmage. He brings a lot to the table as far as his overall skillset and his size.”

St-Juste’s father, Wilbert, played safety for the University of Miami in 1989.

The six-foot-one, 210-pound Palmer had 99 catches for 1,514 yards and seven TDs while starting 36 games at Tennessee. He also impressed at the Senior Bowl, practising well and catching a TD pass in the game.

“I’m coming to work,” Palmer said. “Man, you’re going to get everything out of me.

“I don’t really care what role I have, I’m going to learn, you’re going to get everything from me and we’re going to win some games. We’re going to win some championships.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

NFL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Photo: RCMP
Rossland pedestrian dies after being pinned between 2 vehicles

RCMP Sgt. advises that victim services is available for anyone requiring help

Dani Evans with her brother Alex, 9, and George, her buddy dog (a guide dog for children). Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Visually impaired girl walks for Nelson Friends of the Family

Dani Evans is raising money through the month of May

Pharmacist Barbara Violo shows a vile of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Castlegar pharmacies gets additional AstraZeneca vaccines

Several Castlegar pharmacies list appointment openings this week

FILE - In this April 19, 2021, file photo, Keidy Ventura, 17, receives her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in West New York, N.J. States across the country are dramatically scaling back their COVID-19 vaccine orders as interest in the shots wanes, putting the goal of herd immunity further out of reach. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
5 more deaths, 131 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

Those 18-years and older in high-transmission neighbourhoods can register for the vaccine

Castlegar City Hall. (Photo: Kristen Lawson)
City of Castlegar finance reports for 2020 show revenue losses

Some losses were offset by savings and grants

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
B.C. to provide three days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

(Pixabay)
B.C. doctors could face consequences for spreading COVID misinformation: college

College says doctors have a higher level of responsibility to not spread incorrect information

Kelowna resident Sally Wallick helped rescue a kayaker in distress a week and a half ago. (Sally Wallick/Contributed)
VIDEO: Kelowna woman rescues capsized kayaker in Okanagan Lake

Sally Wallick is asking people to be prepared for the cold water and unpredictable winds

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about phase two in B.C.’s COVID-19 immunization plan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
All of B.C. will eventually ease out of COVID-19 restrictions at same time: Henry

People who have received two doses of a vaccine can’t yet return to post-pandemic activities with each other, she says

Winnipeg Jets’ Andrew Copp (9) and Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith (41) watch an incoming shot during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, April 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
‘Very jealous’: Canadian teams can’t take advantage of NHL’s relaxed COVID-19 rules

League eased some tight COVID-19 health and safety protocols over the weekend for fully vaccinated clubs

A map of Huu-ay-aht-owned forestry cutblock. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
B.C. First Nations restrict access to territory in wake of forestry standoffs

Huu-ay-aht set up checkpoints after heated and dangerous incidents on southwest Vancouver Island

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
RCMP identify ‘person of interest’ in Kootenay National Park suspicious death

Police are looking for Philip Toner, who was known to a woman found dead near Radium last week

Most Read