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2015 NFL Draft: Gabe Holmes, A User’s Guide

TE Gabe Holmes has the physical tools, but can he deliver?

Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

The final draft profile I am doing is for a player that may continue to get the benefit of the doubt despite a rarely delivering on a ton of potential. He was Danny Hope's prodigal breakout star at tight end, Gabe Holmes


Every year Holmes was supposed to be a breakout star, but the only year it seemed to happened was 2013. He had nine catches in the first two games before a wrist injury ended his season. This came after a 25-158-2 season in 2012 where it looked like he was turning a corner for his senior year. Holmes was able to redshirt and get his senior season back, where he had 17 catches for 178 yards and two score in 2014.

For his career, he had 63 receptions for 552 yards and five TDs. Those are good, but not eye-popping numbers for a tight end. At 6'5" 260 pounds he always had the body for being a dominant player, but he rarely was. To be fair, the offense was terrible in his final two years plus he battled injuries. In his first three seasons he faced a quarterback carousel that included no less than five different starters (Justin Siller, Caleb TerBush, Rob Henry, Robert Marve, and Sean Robinson). There was never any consistency for him, as he played for seven different quarterbacks in five years.


He has a big body that can't easily be replicated. Here is what his official draft profile says:

Played basketball growing up and has a feel for climbing the ladder with desired body control and securing tough catches. Hands catcher willing to work back to his quarterback when necessary. Finds open spaces against zone coverage. Has adequate speed to work the seam. When healthy, has the ability to make difficult catches look easy.


Let's put it this way: At one point last season I said that Holmes couldn't catch the clap from a Thai hooker. Drops were a gigantic concern as he often would drop wide open passes before making difficult catches. Part of that might have been from the wrist injury, but it was a frustrating part of the offense in 2014. He simply was not reliable and often had stone hands.


Holmes will likely get a free agent look somewhere because of his size. He has lined up in the slot and is definitely a pass-catching tight end as opposed to a blocking TE. I'd like to see him get it done too, because he has rarely had much positive happen around him to make him thrive.