(Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports)
With the 24th pick in the 4th round, the Indianapolis Colts selected Center Khaled Holmes from USC. At 6-3, 302 pounds, Holmes is known more as a crafty, technician on the offensive line than a bruising road grader. His injury and bench reps (13) at the NFL Combine probably didn’t help his draft stock much. He missed time with a leg injury last season, and USC struggled without him. Holmes is known for being a smart, quick, aggressive center who plays to the whistle (more after the jump).
Here’s the overview from his NFL.com Combine profile:
Tenacious player who gets after any defensive lineman in his path – and teammates who aren’t getting the job done. Sustains blocks through the whistle and takes his man backwards and drives them to the ground regularly. Quick feet for his size, can reach second-level targets or get out in front of screens. Hustles to help either guard, or both on the same play, when uncovered. Good mover on zone plays. Uses his hands and bulk to move his man out of the hole. Usually anchors even when his man gets his hands up quickly after the snap. Good student, has already graduated with a double major of classics and communication.
Taller than the average center, doesn’t sit into his stance as low as many in the pivot. Must play with more knee bend, overextends at the waist while engaged and ends up on the ground too often. Does not always recognize inside blitzes, attacks a lineman and allows linebacker to come through the middle without an attempt to slow him down.
Brian De La Puente
This tall, physical, mobile, and intelligent interior lineman first snapped for quarterback Matt Barkley first at Mater Dei High School in California, and then for the Trojans in 2011 and 2012 after starting at guard as a sophomore. Holmes dealt with ankle and leg injuries all season, and the Trojans interior offensive line took a huge step back without him. The senior will need to prove his health since he projects best to a heavy zone blocking scheme.
And his CBS Sports Draft profile:
STRENGTHS: Broad shouldered, quick-footed athlete well-suited to playing any of the three interior positions. Quick off the snap. Shoots his hands into the pads of his opponent and possesses the quick feet and balance to turn and seal off defenders from the action. Good agility when blocking at the second level and has impressive straight-line speed, showcasing the ability to block on the move 10+ yards downfield.
Alert. Keeps his head on a swivel and is competitive, looking to help out his teammates. Tough. Played through a nagging ankle injury throughout much of the 2012 season that earned the respect of his teammates and the coaching staff. Good bloodlines; the younger brother of former USC tight end Alex Holmes, who played for the Miami Dolphins in 2005. Highly intelligent. Earned his Master's Degree in Communications in 2012 with a 3.31 GPA.
WEAKNESSES: Struggles against power and may be limited to zone-blocking schemes in the NFL. Was too often pushed deep into the pocket by bigger, explosive defenders (including, but not limited to Utah's Star Lotulelei) in 2012 and may be viewed as strictly as offensive guard convert at the next level.
Plays high too often, losing the leverage battle and making himself weaker than his size and weight-room strength would indicate. Spends too much time on the ground. Struggled with leg injuries in 2012 that will need to be investigated by NFL teams.
COMPARES TO: Peter Konz, OG, Atlanta Falcons -- Like the former Wisconsin center, Holmes' ultimate pro position could be guard. While he possesses the intelligence to remain on the pivot and has started every game of his collegiate career at this position (just as Konz did), Holmes' athleticism and lack of ideal power in his base could necessitate a move to the outside.
Khaled Holmes videos – watch for number 78, snapping to Matt Barkley
This guy might be a bit of a finesse blocker. He doesn’t seem to match the power running game well, but there has been talk of running some zone blocking schemes this year, too. As far as his technique and his length, this kid looks like a potentially good NFL lineman who may just need to hit the weight room a little more. Keep in mind, though, these draft profiles don’t tell the whole story. If they did, former Colts Center Jeff Saturday would have never played professional football.
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My only real gripe with this pick, was that Lattimore was still there and then went 10 picks later to San Fran.
So was he selected as a C or a G? Wasn't sure about this pick, but he was very productive a couple years ago, and was slowed down by injuries last year. Colts need Oline help, and he definitely fits the bill. Hope he becomes our next Saturday.
Cant say I like this pick at all. Holmes seems to do a lot of his blocking in the second level, which is not something he can expected to do in the NFL, to put it mildly. When he has to stand his ground against DTs he gets stood up and pushed back VERY easily. Lots of other guys I'd rather have in the 4th round for sure, but maybe they're seeing something I'm not.
Hard to not watch these highlights and snicker every time the Trojans fail... that said it seems Holmes has a lot to work on... stands way too tall and seems to easily get either undercut or bull-rushed. Hope Gilbert can coach him up!
Question: Odds on Khaled Holmes making the 53 man roster start of season? If so, which center Satelle or Shipley gets cut? Otherwise, given the injury history of Satelle and Shipley and Holmes being a rookie, is Holmes destined to start season on practice squad and being activated mid-season? It seems like a safe bet one can get a late round rookie center no matter how promising to the practice squad, Who wants to sign a rookie 5th round center off somebody else's practice squad and have to carry them on the active roster for a two week minimum? It does not seem to me that rookie centers are plug and play material like lets say running backs.
One thing I liked about Grigson last year was that he was not scared to trade up to grab guys he really liked, last year it seemed like he and I(as if it matters) were on the same page, this year not so much, I think there were times where he could have traded up and gambled but he did not, I understand we only have a certain amount of picks in this years draft but there are always next years picks to trade as well.
Would have loved to trade up to get the C out of Cal, I think he would have been a much better fit for us, but oh well, not just time to wait until the 7th round.
I really thought Patton would be the choice here like Rhodes in the first round. Wrong again. I'm not liking what I'm reading about this pick. I'm trying so hard to jump on the "In Grigson We Trust" bandwagon. Can't do it yet. But I hope this guy can be a better OC than Satele by next season.
It really difficult to tell how well these guys will all play out. So, rather than provide complaints or grumble about this, I'll put my faith in Grigson and Pagano.
@rogcohen The Colts have him listed as both right now. He's a C/G. With all the injuries they've had along the o-line, we might wind up finding out what Hilmes can do.
@thellamajockey He said today that he can play all three inside positions. I'm not sure if the coaches feel that way. Haven't read the whole transcript yet. If I had to pick a center to keep, I think Shipley outplayed Satele, but that's my outside observation. I don't know what kind of injuries Satele might've been playing through.
I think it all depends on if he gets back to his 2011 form, if he does that he can most likely start from day one, if not I think practice squad is his best bet, but I could honestly see Samson getting cut, don't think he did much of anything last year... ANYTHING
@paulcareyjr I felt the same about last year's draft. I felt good during the draft and certainly feel like those picks were awesome after the season. Although, I didn't like the Allen pick at first (what was wrong with me?), after some reading on him and pondering, I even came to like it. This year, I'm not feeling the same way.
I'm trying so hard to stay positive. Maybe it's the Walden and RJF signings that have shaken my faith?
@bradicus18 Yeah, he did play a lot better in junior year, and they say he was dealing with a high ankle injury in his sr year. Not sure how this pick turn out, or where he ends up playing, but I am hoping for the best.
@buymymonkey I agree it's difficult to tell. But I choose to grumble! LOL!
@MarcusDugan Grigson has said he is reluctant to start/play rookie offensive lineman. But if Holmes is a viable 3 inside position lineman, is it likely that the Colts keep two dedicated vet centers to start the season and attempt to use Holmes as a utility interior offensive linemen/special teamer. My bet is still that Holmes starts on the practice squad and by mid season Satelle is likely gone.
But most importantly, I generally like the draft strategy; Protect Luck and only good things will happen. I trust the Colts will develop later round and UDFA WRs.
@bradicus18 The Hughes pick is more inline with what I was thinking :)