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Given all of the attention that the SEC receives, it isn't often that a three-year starter and reigning all-conference pick can make a realistic complaint about being underrated but that may very well be the case with Holden.
After redshirting his first season on campus, Holden played in every game in 2013, alternating between guard and tackle. He emerged as the Commodores' starter at right tackle a year later, earning the nod in 10 of 12 games overall in 2014. He was slated to remain there until injuries to teammates forced him to slide over to left tackle in 2015. Holden showed steady improvement on the blindside throughout the 2015 season, something that conference coaches (but not the media) noted by naming him to the Second Team All-SEC squad.
Vanderbilt does not have the greatest of track records when it comes to producing NFL offensive lineman, with former first round pick Chris Williams (Chicago, No. 14 overall in 2008) the only former Commodores blocker to be selected inside the first 170 picks over the past 20 years. Don't be surprised, however, if the underrated Holden - who turned enough heads at the East-West Shrine Game that he was a late addition to the Senior Bowl, as well - ends that streak.
STRENGTHS: Holden looks the part of a starting NFL offensive lineman with a powerful frame with excellent weight distribution spread over broad shoulders, thick limbs and a stout core. He shows good initial quickness off the snap, gaining quality depth with a patient and efficient kick slide that helps him maintain his balance. Holden keeps his knees bent and his butt down, allowing him to quickly slide back to his right should defenders attempt counters. He has long, powerful arms and very good upper body strength to latch onto opponents, typically controlling them throughout the duration of the play. His combination of quickness and power show up in the running game, where he is often able to generate movement at the point of attack. Holden is quick enough to slip off of initial blocks at the line and release to the second level. He takes an efficient path to secondary targets, showing anticipation of where defenders are headed. Holden has experience at all four exterior offensive line positions. He comes with excellent intangibles. His father is a member of the U.S. Navy and Holden, himself, is an Eagle Scout and aspiring FBI agent. He has shown excellent durability, starting the final 37 games of his career for the 'Dores and playing in both the East-West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl.
WEAKNESSES: Though Holden shows good initial quickness off the snap, he does not possess the elite foot speed to keep explosive rushers from crossing his face, ultimately giving up the edge. Holden will occasionally punch too low or stop shuffling his feet when he feels he has his opponent locked down, with each tactical error leaving him vulnerable to swim moves. He possesses only average arm length (33 1/8") for a tackle and may be too tall for guard.
IN OUR VIEW: Holden may not be quite agile enough to remain at left tackle in the NFL but he is an underrated athlete with the powerful frame and game to make a living as a right tackle or guard.
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