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Joshua Holsey Used Rookie Camp To Standout Against Competition

Posted May 16, 2017

While much of the focus was on the Redskins' top draft picks like Jonathan Allen, Ryan Anderson and Samaje Perine, seventh-round selection Joshua Holsey stood out throughout rookie minicamp.

While much of the focus was on the Redskins' top draft picks like Jonathan Allen, Ryan Anderson and Samaje Perine, seventh-round selection Joshua Holsey stood out throughout rookie minicamp.

After a breakout season where the fourth-year starter garnered three interceptions and ten passes defended against the nation's top competition in the conference that many consider the "baby NFL", it is hard to fathom how Joshua Holsey out of Auburn fell to the Redskins in the seventh round of the 2017 NFL Draft, without knowing his history, of course.

“Just injuries,” Holsey said when asked what hurt his draft stock. “I mean when you are injury plagued people will always have those thoughts in their head. I know without those injuries I probably would have went a lot higher. Things happen for a reason so you can’t really complain… I've just got to be able to come in and show that I can play with the best of them like I told them before. When healthy I can play with anybody.”

Holsey missed the entire 2015 season after a second ACL tear. That was followed by an extensive rehab process to get back on the field for an important senior season that would determine his football future.

But the aforementioned successful 2016 campaign led to Holsey becoming the Redskins' final pick in this year's draft. His play during the weekend's rookie minicamp at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va., however, matched up with some of the higher profile draft selections.

He looked like a veteran defensive back that was all over the place during 11-on-11 unit action, jumping routes and and breaking up several passes thrown his direction. Holsey was explosive, showing that his injury-riddled days seem to be something of the past and went all out during drills including special teams in the non contact practice.

Being a seventh-round pick didn't stop Hosley from being one of the loudest guys on the field, communicating with teammates and showing his competitiveness with a little friendly banter with offensive players and occasionally having a fun back and forth with head coach Jay Gruden.

“Watching him move around, it doesn’t look like he was hurt at all,” Gruden said after the second day of rookie camp. “He’s really quick in and out of breaks. He’s a competitor, you can see that. He likes to talk a little bit, as do I, so it’s a good match. We have a lot of fun with him. I think he’s going to be a good candidate for this football team. I know he ran around well in special teams drills, so we’ll see how it goes, but I was impressed with Holsey.”

Defensive backs coach Torian Gray wanted to test the rookie during one on-one-drills as Holsey was matched up with sixth-round wide receiver Robert Davis.

The two had a fiery battle and even though Davis stands about four inches taller than Holsey, he was always in his face and challenging the impressive rookie on every route. Anytime Holsey seemed to get beat on a inside route or jump ball, he elevated to another level the next play and would rarely give up two catches in a row.

So far, Holsey seems to be a rookie that has the potential to play well above his draft round and a steal for the Redskins' defense that is seeking for better play against slot receivers, particuarly on third down situations. 

After Saturday's practice, Holsey reflected on his rookie minicamp experience and believes that he did what he needed to do in order to get noticed.

“It feels good to just get out here and run around,” he said. “It feels good to get out here and get your feet wet to show what you can do. Overall I think I did pretty good. I think I stood out for the most part in my opinion but I still got things to work on and things to get better at.”

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