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

Jaimie Davis won received a Northwest Community College President’s Art Award in 2018. This year, she won the Best Solopreneur Award from Small Business BC for her online shop Jada Creations. (Contributed photo/Northwest Community College)
Terrace artist wins provincial small business award

Jaimie Davis of Jada Creations won BC Small Business’ Best Solopreneur Award

Chera Bergen (left) with her sisters Hali and Dylan Ouellet (not in the picture) raised money through a bottle drive in Terrace to buy essential supplies for a homeless shelter. (Binny Paul/ Terrace Standard)
Terrace sisters’ recycle drive raises money for homeless shelter

With the $1175 raised, Chera, Hali and Dylan bought essential supplies for Ksan Society

A memorial march takes place along Highway 16 also known as Canada’s ‘Highway of Tears’ on national day of awareness of Murdered & Missing Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). Over five dozen people from nearby communities joined the march which began outside Terrace City Hall and ended at the memorial totem pole erected along Hwy 16, near Kitsumkalum. (Binny Paul/Terrace Standard)
‘City of Terrace can and should make spaces safer’: MMIWG activists

Activists called on governments to amplify safety net for women on national day of awareness of MMIWG

RCMP are reminding the public to be aware of their surroundings after a stabbing sent a man to hospital on May 4, 2021. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Terrace stabbing sends man to hospital

RCMP remind the public to be aware of surroundings

The construction site for the new Mills Memorial Hospital has been cleared. (Binny Paul/The Terrace Standard)
Bird nests key to decision to log hospital site in Terrace

Nests would have posed a risk of increasing costs

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

Most Read