Josh Holsey didn't really watch the NFL Combine last week. Why bother watching an event he felt he should have been participating in?
Instead, the former Auburn defensive back used the perceived snub as motivation. After all, he didn't receive an invite to the Senior Bowl or any other scout-driven game following his final year at Auburn.
Naturally, it left Holsey with a chip on his shoulder as he anxiously awaited his chance to shine at Auburn's pro day.
"Big time, big time," Holsey said. "I felt with the year I had, I should've been in something. I guess it just seems like they didn't see the same thing."
Last season, Holsey finished with 30 total tackles, a team-leading three interceptions and also tied for the team lead with 10 pass breakups -- on a team that tied for third nationally in that category. On Friday, Holsey finally got that opportunity to prove his worth during Auburn's pro day at the team's athletics complex.
"No pressure, but this was my combine," Holsey said. "That's how I approached it. Nobody gave me that shot to go to anything, so I just kept my head down, kept grinding and got this. I think I was able to go out here and show the scouts what I'm able to do. I think I had a pretty solid day overall."
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Holsey was one of 17 former Auburn players to participate in the day's workouts in front of personnel from all 32 NFL teams. The 5-foot-9, 190-pound defensive back feels he did enough to impress some teams with his performance on the day.
Holsey had a 35-inch vertical jump, which was the best among 12 former players to complete the test on pro day. He also had a 9-foot, 10-inch broad jump -- which was third behind only receiver Tony Stevens and defensive back Marshall Taylor, both of whom are decidedly taller than Holsey.
He put up 15 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press and ran an unofficial 4.43 in the 40-yard dash.
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"I think I did pretty good. I expected to run a lot faster than what I ran," he said. "I don't know what I ran, but I still expect to run a little faster overall. I think I did pretty good overall with everything. I hit most of my goals I expected to hit, so it was a pretty good day overall."
While Holsey was pleased with his performance, how did he stack up against some of the other defensive backs in this year's class, which is believed to be one of the deepest in several years?
His 4.43 in the 40-yard dash was tied for 11th among all 35 defensive backs at the NFL Combine. His 35-inch vertical jump was tied for 17th among defensive backs, while his 9-foot, 10-inch broad jump was better than only nine of the defensive backs to participate in the event at the Combine.
Still, Holsey believes he did enough to show what he's capable of.
"Just to come out and show people that I'm able to do everything," Holsey said. "I'm fast. I've got great feet, great hips. That was the big thing. So, the 40 and the drills were a big key to me. I think I did solid on those drills."
Holsey said that teams like him more as a nickel at the next level, though he could also play cornerback. Last season, Holsey started 12 games at corner, though he also has experience playing nickel and free safety.
After pro day, Holsey said multiple NFL teams planned to meet with him. As for the elephant in the room -- his two separate torn ACLs that required surgery during his college career--Holsey has a simple response when teams inevitably ask about any concerns that arise from that.
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"My film from last year says it all, you know what I mean?" Holsey said. "I played the entire year, missed one game -- which wasn't due to a knee. I just tell them to turn on the film. Most teams are going to ask me that, I'll just tell them to turn on the film from last year when I played great all year, each and every game. I might have given up one or two plays, but there's not too many clips you can turn on where you see me getting beat deep.
"Not too many clips you can turn on where I'm getting beat. I just tell them to turn on the film from last year and they can be the judge from that."
In the meantime, Holsey plans to keep training at Auburn with strength and conditioning coach Ryan Russell leading up to next month's draft, which he plans to watch from home with his family in Atlanta, waiting and hoping to hear his name called.
"I just want a chance," Holsey said. "Somebody, just give me a chance. That's all I ask. I'm going to work my butt off. All I'm asking for is a chance."