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

Just Posted

A dramatic four-vehicle crash at the intersection of Government and Herald streets brings standstill in downtown Victoria on May 18. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
4 car crash closes downtown Victoria intersection

Traffic impacted after crash closes Government and Herald streets

Ryan Cootes, Erin Bremner-Mitchell, Bill Collins and Mike Williamson of Cascadia Seaweed Corporation are here seen holding up seaweed grown in Barkley Sound in July 2020. The Sidney-based company has organized the inaugural Seaweed Days Festival running May 17 to May 23. (Cascadia Seaweed Corporation/Submitted)
Let’s hear it for seaweed: slimy, unsexy and the world’s greatest untapped food source

Experts talks emerging industry’s challenges and potential at Sidney inaugural Seawood Days Festival

The entrance to one of the tiny homes in Victoria’s Tiny Home Village. (Kiernan Green/News Staff)
Victoria Tiny Home Village resident evicted for lighting small fire

No damage or injuries, but zero-tolerance rule stands

A prowling coyote proved no match for a stray black cat who chased it out of a Port Moody parking lot Friday, May 14. (Twitter/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Little but fierce: Cat spotted chasing off coyote by Port Moody police

The black cat is seen jumping out from under a parked car and running the wild animal out of a vacant lot

White Rock’s Marine Drive is being restricted to single-lane one-way traffic to allow more patio space for waterfront restaurants, with indoor dining restricted from the end of March to some time after the May 24 weekend. (Peace Arch News)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate falls to 411 cases Tuesday

360 people in hospital, up slightly, two more deaths

The Banff National Park entrance is shown in Banff, Alta., Tuesday, March 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Minister asks Canadians to camp carefully in national parks as season starts

Kitchen shelters in Banff National Park closed, trails on Vancouver Island will only be one-way

Names of those aboard the ship are seen at Komagata Maru monument in downtown Vancouver, on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. The City of Vancouver has issued an apology for its racist role in denying entry to 376 passengers aboard a ship that was forced to return to India over a century ago. Mayor Kennedy Stewart says discrimination by the city had “cruel effects” on the Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims aboard the Komagata Maru, which arrived in Burrard Inlet on May 23, 1914. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says sorry for city’s role in turning away South Asians in 1914

Kennedy Stewart has declared May 23 as the annual Komagata Maru Day of Remembrance

A crew of WestCoast WILD Adventures employees tackled an onslaught of litter left at the ‘Locks of Love’ fence at Wally Creek on May 2. (Anne-Marie Gosselin photo)
Litter woes consume popular ‘Locks of Love’ fence on B.C.’s Pacific Rim

Popular view spot near Tofino plagued by people hanging masks and other unwanted garbage

A game camera near the Klahoose reservation on Cortes Island caught this glimpse of a truck leaving the woodlot at around 2:30 on Sunday morning. Photo supplied by Klahoose First Nation
Indigenous cutblock vandalised on Cortes Island, anti-logging element suspected

Ribbons pulled down, gravel poured into gas tank at Klahoose First Nation site

Announced Tuesday, May 18 by Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth, the province added gyms, dance and fitness studios to its list of places where face coverings are mandatory (AP/Steven Senne)
Masks now required at all times inside B.C. gyms, including during workouts

Those who disobey could be subject to a $230 fine

Reinhard “Bud” Loewen of Abbotsford has now been charged with 21 counts of sexual assault related to his massage business. (Facebook photo)
Former Abbotsford masseur now faces 21 counts of sexual assault

Bud Loewen of Bud’s Massage Therapy initally faced three charges

Over the years, police have worked with sketch artists to draw what the boys could have looked like at the times of their deaths. (Vancouver Police Department)
DNA breakthrough expected in cold case involving murdered Vancouver boys, 7 and 8

Forensic analysts are working to identify relatives of the children, whose bodies were found in Stanley Park in 1953

Most Read