MIAMI (AP) — The biggest knock so far on Miami Dolphins second-round draft choice Jevon Holland is that he won’t help their running game.
The Dolphins took Holland, a safety from Oregon, with the 36th overall pick Friday after the Denver Broncos leapfrogged them to draft a running back. The Dolphins needed a ball carrier, but Denver moved one spot ahead of them by trading up and selected North Carolina’s Javonte Williams.
Miami then chose Holland. Williams was the third running back taken, and the Dolphins were shut out in their pursuit of a top-tier ball carrier for the second draft in a row despite a strong need.
“When you draft for need, at times you reach for stuff,” general manager Chris Grier said. “We’re very excited with the players we added. We’ll keep running through every position looking for potential upgrades all the way to the season.”
The Dolphins traded up from 50th to 42nd to take 6-foot-6, 306-pound Liam Eichenberg, a three-year starter at left tackle for Notre Dame. He was a finalist for the Outland Trophy last year.
In the third round, Miami added Boston College tight end Hunter Long, who had 57 catches for 685 yards and five scores last year.
Holland was born nearly 3,000 miles from Miami in Coquitlam, British Columbia. His father, Robert, played at Sacramento State and in the Canadian Football League.
“Football is super popular across all of Canada,” Holland said. “My dad and brother both played. It’s me just trying to follow in their footsteps, and I think it turned out to be a pretty good choice.”
The versatile Holland played deep safety and nickel back at Oregon. He had five interceptions as a freshman in 2018 and four as a sophomore, when he also averaged 15.3 yards on 16 punt returns. He opted out last year.
“I played receiver in high school,” he said, “and that’s where I developed a lot of my ball-hawking ability.”
Said Grier: “This guy just has a nose for the ball.”
Eichenberg further bolsters pass protection for Tua Tagovailoa, joining an offensive line that included a franchise record three rookie starters last year.
When asked what he knows about Tagovailoa, Eichenberg smiled.
“I know he’s a lefty. I know he played at Bama. And I know he’s a great player,” Eichenberg said. “I’m looking forward to meeting him.”
To move up and take Eichenberg, the Dolphins sent the 50th overall pick and a third-round choice next year to the New York Giants.
The Dolphins added Long even though tight end was already perhaps their deepest position. Grier joked that he deferred on the selection of Long to coach Brian Flores, a former Boston College linebacker.
“I was excited to add an Eagle,” Flores said with a grin. “He’s a typical Boston College player — he’s tough, he’s smart.”
In the first round Thursday, Miami drafted Alabama receiver Jaylen Waddle and Miami Hurricanes edge rusher Jaelan Phillips.
“We’ve added some speed, some playmaking,” Grier said. “For us it was a really good two days.”
The Dolphins have only three selections on the final day of the draft, the highest being the 156th overall pick in the fifth round.
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