At 6’5”, 323 pounds, Lamar Holmes certainly looks the part of a professional offensive tackle. Teams love his 35-1/4-inch arms, balance, awareness and ability to match up against pass rushers. Did I mention the almost 10-inch hands?
Holmes is essentially being viewed as an intriguing raw prospect. He played primarily standing up in a passing offense at Southern Miss, which has limited his overall development. But it has given him good technique in pass protection and good football I.Q. and patience in that function.
With a 5.22-5.41 time in the 40-yard dash, he isn’t top-round material. Then again, the only time he’s going to run 40 yards is on a completely busted play ending in a fumble that he scoops up and …yeah, I don’t think scouts are too worried about it.
Besides, check out the video and you’ll see him do a pretty respectable job at a “tackle eligible” score. He’s No. 72.
Holmes may not be the speediest guy on the field, but he can jump 27 inches straight up and over eight feet straight out. He has good bending skills, a solid and deep stance and pretty good hand skills.
Lamar played two full seasons at left tackle for the Golden Eagles and started 18 consecutive games. He is thickly built, tough and durable.
His core strength is excellent and he can run-block when he anticipates correctly. Although his footwork when mirroring pass rushers is excellent, he has a tendency to stop moving his feet on contact. See, that’s not good.
Most analysts peg Holmes as totally lacking in any type of explosiveness. However, the National Football Post remarked: "Displays the ability to create a slight pop into contact in the run game." So perhaps this area of his game is either open to improvement—or to interpretation.
He’s also not terribly quick or agile in redirection, which will limit his usefulness in a cut- (sorry, zone-) blocking scheme. He needs considerable work on blocking while on the move, completing combination blocking schemes and overall body control. He lost about 30 pounds going into the offseason selection process, which is a good start.
Lamar was invited to the East-West Shrine Game, where he had an uneven week. First-Team All-Conference USA selection 2011 (honorable mention in 2010). Holmes receives significant credit for the Golden Eagles' first-ever 6,000-yard season.
Holmes may not see the field a great deal for a while unless he has an epiphany-filled training camp combined with improved body control. However, he is a legitimate NFL-caliber pass protector so he could be extremely useful in eventually helping to protect Matt Ryan.
Holmes is very raw and didn’t adapt quickly to pro-level coaching at the East-West game. However, his balance, protection patience and physique will get him into Falcons camp with a shot to contribute.
Pro football weekly summed it up: “Will require patience.”