Oregon safety Jevon Holland celebrates after sacking Wisconsin quarterback Jack Coan during second half of the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020, in Pasadena, Calif. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Marcio Jose Sanchez

Oregon safety Jevon Holland becomes first Canadian player selected in 2021 NFL draft

After having to sit through the entire opening round of the NFL draft without hearing his name, Canadian Jevon Holland didn’t have to wait long to get the call Friday night.

The Miami Dolphins selected Holland with the fourth pick of the second round, No. 36 overall. That gave the native of Coquitlam, B.C., the distinction of being 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.”

But Holland was surprised to be taken by the Dolphins.

“I’m overjoyed,” he said. “No, I didn’t have any idea.”

Holland’s selection is expected to be the first of many more for Canadian players. Another five have garnered much NFL interest and if all six are indeed drafted that would be the most ever as the record currently stands at four Canucks 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, just overjoyed.”

Holland joins a Miami club that finished second in the AFC East last year with a 10-6 record.

Holland was the second defensive back taken in the second round, but first safety in the draft. Five cornerbacks were selected in the opening round Thursday night.

Holland, a six-foot, 207-pound junior, opted out of the 2020 season at Oregon to prepare for the 2021 NFL draft. Holland said many 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 defensive 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 in that he can also play cornerback and return punts.

On Thursday, Miami selected Alabama receiver Jaylen Waddle with the sixth-overall pick. In addition to being a dynamic pass catcher, 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.”

Holland was among 45 players who confirmed to participate virtually in the draft.

Just Posted

Mayor Rick Bonnett. (Screenshot)
WATCH: Ponoka council calls on gov’t to support rural small businesses

Ponoka council is calling on the provincial government to increase funding to… Continue reading

Pumpjacks draw oil out of the ground near Olds, Alta., Thursday, July 16, 2020. A new report suggests the economic impact of the pandemic led to a massive increase in federal aid to Canada's oil patch. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Alberta economy ‘still reeling,’ says ATB Financial

Alberta’s economy is still feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and… Continue reading

Ella Stoner, five, is ready to cut off her hair and donate it to A Child’s Voice Foundation. (Photo by Lauren Stoner Photography)
Central Alberta girl to donate her ‘princess hair’ to A Child’s Voice Foundation

A five-year-old girl from Rimbey has never had a haircut before. Now,… Continue reading

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta adds 1,195 new COVID-19 cases Saturday

Red Deer has dropped to 760 active cases

The Minnesota Wild celebrate their overtime victory over the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of a first-round NHL hockey playoff series Sunday, May 16, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
Eriksson Ek’s OT goal lifts Wild past Vegas 1-0

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Joel Eriksson Ek’s goal at 3:20 of overtime… Continue reading

Toronto Blue Jays' Lourdes Gurriel Jr., celebrates after hitting a double against the Philadelphia Phillies during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, May 16, 2021, in Dunedin, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
Girardi, Segura have confrontation as Phils lose to Jays

Blue Jays 10 Phillies 8 DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) — The injury-depleted Philadelphia… Continue reading

New York Islanders' Kyle Palmieri (21) returns to the bench after scoring during the first period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Sunday, May 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Palmieri’s OT winner lifts Isles by Penguins 4-3 in Game 1

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The New York Islanders brought Kyle Palmieri home at… Continue reading

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions hearing to examine an update from Federal officials on efforts to combat COVID-19, Tuesday, May 11, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via AP)
Fauci says pandemic exposed ‘undeniable effects of racism’

ATLANTA (AP) — The immunologist who leads the COVID-19 response in the… Continue reading

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, participates in a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Feds face growing calls for answers after general overseeing vaccine effort sidelined

OTTAWA — The federal Liberal government is facing growing calls for answers… Continue reading

Conservative MP Ron Liepert rises during Question Period on Parliament Hill, Friday, March 10, 2017 in Ottawa. Ron Liepert says these days, the phone calls and emails from people wanting to talk about his party's climate plan have slowed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Alberta MP pitches Conservative carbon price with a 24-pack of Pilsner

OTTAWA — Ron Liepert says these days, the phone calls and emails… Continue reading

A sign marks Stairs Place in the Hydrostone district in the North end of Halifax on Thursday, May 13, 2021. The street was named for William Grant Stairs, a Canadian explorer from Halifax who helped lead some of the most controversial expeditions through the African continent. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Where the streets have explorers’ names, some Halifax residents call for change

HALIFAX — When builders created Halifax’s distinctive Hydrostone neighbourhood more than a… Continue reading

Riley Oldford, 16, suffers from cerebral palsy. He was the first youth in the Northwest Territories to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Here he receives the needle from nurse practitioner Janie Neudorf in Yellowknife on Thursday May 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Bill Braden
People with disabilities even more alone during pandemic: cerebral palsy spokeswoman

YELLOWKNIFE — Riley Oldford is usually out playing sledge hockey or hanging… Continue reading

Most Read