Frosty the Snowman is a cartoon character that is beloved by all kids around the world. That old silk hat that those kids found, must have had some sort of magic that turned this snowman into a real life character. Chris Grier maybe had a silk hat on when he called in the draft selection of Jevon Holland as the first 2nd round selection, as that pick has turned out to be one of the best draft decisions during his tenure.
Once the 2nd round of the 2021 NFL draft started, Miami Dolphins fans were hoping to land a starting caliber running back with their target on Jevonte Williams from North Carolina or potentially a starting center to anchor their rebuilding offensive line. When a trade was conducted by the Denver Broncos to leapfrog the Dolphins, the consensus was to believe the Dolphins pick will be a center, but then Chris Grier had another idea.
When Jevon first started his career with the Dolphins he donned the 22 jersey, but when the season started he made the switch to 8, which takes the form of a snowman, add in the fact that Jevon is from Canada, the nickname has now stuck to this promising player.
Jevon has been one of the biggest surprises for the Miami Dolphins defense this season. Snowman is out performing every single prediction or forecast that was labelled to him. He’s not only been the best safety in this year’s draft class, he’s also rated top 5 Free Safety in the entire league. Minkah who? Is what Miami Dolphins fans are saying right now, as Coach Flores finally has a safety that can play the position with the conviction that is required. How is he doing this – it’s easy to see that Snowman has game. The type of game that makes you think you are seeing the next version of Ed Reed – to me that is his player comparison.
Snowman’s ability to blitz is outstanding, there is nothing else you can say about that. His adoption and awareness at the line of scrimmage is second to none. Look at previous game tape of Ed Reed or Troy Polamalu and you can see the same type of recognition, which is scary to see from a first year player.
On the flip side, Josh Boyer, the Miami Dolphins second year defensive coordinator, finally has a Robber. The Robber technique for a Free Safety is the catch all, where you can send the Strong Safety to play Box 1 technique, which is evident from what we have seen in Brandon Jones and Eric Rowe. The ability to trust a first year player to own that technique is very important. The Robber allows only one single high safety, that is responsible for all over the top coverages. Best way to compare the Robber is to think of a center fielder in baseball.
Jevon back peddling and shadowing are elite. His closing speed and power are essential and has been on display all season. The one area that he needs to develop is his game recognition. The best part of this flaw, its teachable. He needs to become a better student of the game and understand how players shift from coverage disguise from spot zone to wheelman to outside and inside techniques. This was Jevon’s first year and usually all players say the speed of the NFL takes a while to get accustomed too, for Jevon the speed is not the problem, recognition is.
Boyer needs to start evolving his playbook with Jevon in mind, creating centralized plays that showcases his god given ability. Allowing Jevon the ability to shift from a Robber to a Roamer, which I believe will come, if Jevon puts in the work on his game recognition. From a Dolphins fan perspective, every one of us can remember the waste of 2nd round selections, Jevon definitely breaks that curse and things are starting to shine through, that old silk hat that Chris Grier found should be worn on every draft session.