(Be sure to follow Joe Holland on Twitter at @JHolla30)
The next stop on my tour of former Boilers for the 2012 NFL Draft Profile is #30 Joe Holland, the Redshirt Senior Outside Linebacker.
Holland has had quite a long, lettered career at Purdue. After beginning college at the Safety position and redshirting his Freshman year in 2007, Joe moved to the Weak Outside Linebacker spot in 2008 and remained there for the next four years. During that time, he played in all 49 of Purdue's games and started in nearly as many.
Number 30 also managed to corral impressive stats and a nice list of accolades in his four starting seasons as a Boilermaker. He racked up 324 total tackles--including 178 solo takedowns and 23 tackles for loss (5th in team history)--5.5 sacks, 2 interceptions and 3 separate Academic All-Big Ten Conference honors.
In particular, Holland's Senior campaign at Purdue was very noteworthy. On his way to leading Purdue Football to its first bowl game since 2008, the 2011 team Co-Captain amassed 94 total tackles (52 solo, 10 for loss), 1.5 sacks and 1 interception on his way to an All-Big Ten Conference Honorable Mention.
After finishing out a very storied career, Joe now set his sights on breaking into the NFL. To do so would take a lot of hard work, but the Linebacker felt up to the challenge.
Red Head, Golden Heart
Holland spent much of this past offseason working with professional sports performance trainers in preparation for the Draft. By heading down to Indianapolis for St. Vincent's Sports Performance, Holland spent eight weeks training with fifteen other draft hopefuls such as All-Americans Cliff Harris (CB, Oregon) and Ronnie Hillman (RB, San Diego State).
The training program seemed to help Holland's draft hopes considerably. While the Redshirt Senior previously garnered little attention from NFL scouts and analysts, Joe managed to conduct a wonderful Pro Day session at Purdue on March 9th.
After experiencing weeks of professional training, Holland looked quite impressive on his way to recording some stunning measurables in his Pro Day drills. Coming into Mollenkopf at 6'1" and 231 pounds, he managed to bench press 225 pounds 225 and run the 3 cone drill in 6.65. Number 30's most eye-popping stat from March 9th, however, has to be his lightning quick 40 time. Holland ran an official 4.48. Some NFL scouts record their own times at combines and workouts; certain recordings of Joe's 40 Yard Dash read 4.45.
Here is the YouTube video of Holland's remarkable Pro Day session:
Holland's offseason preparation for the Draft and stunning Pro Day workout have caused his draft stock to quickly rise at a fast pace. Whereas earlier Joe was considered to go undrafted, the Senior Linebacker might now be looking at sneaking into the last couple of rounds on Saturday. Some NFL analysts are reporting that Holland might end up going as high as the 6th Round and that a being picked up in the 7th is highly possible.
At this time, there seem to be few reports about what teams Holland has worked out for in preparation for the NFL Draft or what teams have serious interest in drafting him. But, overall Joe's draft stock is trending up and it looks like he might be a late round sleeper, getting snatched up being the final clock runs out on Saturday.