Khaled Holmes Scouting Report: NFL Outlook for USC C
Fourth Round, 121st Pick
Khaled Holmes entered the 2012 season as one of the top centers in college football, but injuries slowed him down throughout his senior year. Due to his athleticism and experience as a three-year starter, he's still among the top centers in this year's class. Some teams may consider him as a guard.
Holmes' athleticism is his best asset. While he isn't in an elite category, he has more than enough athleticism to play center or guard in a zone-blocking scheme.
With more and more teams running zone-blocking schemes and read-option offenses, an athlete like Holmes may be more valued now than ever.
Strength, especially in his lower body, is a concern for Holmes. He struggled to hold his ground against more physical interior lineman and may need to add some weight in order to do so in the NFL.
Despite a less-than-impressive 5.29 time in the 40 at his pro day, Holmes is a decent athlete for an interior lineman. He's much quicker than his 40 time indicates and he gets to the second level with ease.
If Holmes has a weakness in terms of his physical skills, it's his strength. He was not tested in the bench press this offseason due to a pectoral injury, but he clearly struggled with stronger defensive tackles in college.
According to Tony Pauline, of DraftInsider.net, NFL teams are concerned about Holmes' commitment to football.
Every year, there are a few prospects who excelled in the classroom and aren't elite prospects. Teams wonder about their long-term commitment to the game as a result.
The players who go on to establish themselves as starters, typically stick with the game. The ones who are fringe players, may step away earlier than others. So if a team believes Holmes has starter potential, he's worth the risk.
Holmes missed time during the 2012 season with an ankle injury. That slowed him throughout the year. He also suffered a shoulder injury which caused him to miss USC's 2011 spring practices.
Holmes has the physical tools to excel in the zone-blocking scheme, but may be limited to that type of system. His inability to anchor against more physical interior pass-rushers will cause him to struggle in a man-blocking scheme.
Holmes struggles to hold his ground against more physical interior linemen. That was demonstrated by his performance against Star Lotulelei in 2012.
He simply lacks the lower body strength to anchor himself to a spot, and get can walked back into the pocket.
He tends to play back on his heels too often, making him susceptible to being knocked off balance.
Holmes isn't overpowering, but he gets the job done. Despite modest combine numbers, he does a nice job getting to the second level and moving laterally when asked to pull.
Blocking In Space/Recovery
His testing numbers are misleading, because Holmes is a solid athlete. He isn't quite in the same class as others such as Cal's Brian Schwenke, who moves as well as any center in this draft, but Holmes gets to the second level and can make adjustments in space.
While he has the physical tools to play in space, he sometimes struggles to read the defense and make quick decisions. He gets lost in space and doesn't make the split-second decision necessary to get the job done.
There are times when Holmes can put together a string of exceptional plays, but every so often he just loses the fundamentals and the defensive linemen are able to take advantage of him.
When things go wrong, it all stems from a lack of balance. He frequently gets back on his heels, which makes it easier for defensive tackles to drive him back into the pocket.
However, he does have very active hands and will battle to the whistle. While he needs to be more consistent, effort is never lacking.
Holmes can play center or guard in a zone-blocking scheme.
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