Another sixth round, another pick labeled as a "steal" for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
In general manager Dave Caldwell's first year, it was safety Josh Evans. After that it was Luke Bowanko. Last year it was Michael Bennett. This year it's Tyrone Holmes.
None of the players listed above held on as a roster, even though Evans and Bowanko were both given ample opportunities with a lackluster roster. Bennett never found his groove as a interior pass rusher and could very well be cut this preseason.
But each was labeled a "steal" nonetheless. Evans performed well at Florida and it was thought he could compete for the starting job. He was thrust into the lineup and has missed just one game in his three-year career. Bowanko was a strong interior lineman coming out of Virginia and played in every game his rookie year, starting 14 of them. Bennett was a highly touted interior pass rusher out of Ohio State. There were above-average expectations for all of them because they were needed, but also because they were considered steals of the later rounds.
And then there's Tyrone Holmes, another steal out of Montana who recorded 25.5 sacks in his previous two seasons. Holmes is a super athletic and has the prototypical size (6'3" and 250 pounds) you'd want in a defensive end. He's also described as a player with one of the highest ceilings and lowest floors of any pass rusher in this year's draft class.
With a high ceiling and low floor, the best and worst case scenarios are very, very far apart. So, what should we expect out of him?
Best case scenario
Holmes has lot of upside and he dominated his competition at Montana. Justis Mosqueda (@JuMosq) is someone I trust more than just about anyone else on pass rushers and he said Holmes was one of the draft's best kept secrets. "The caliber of athleticism that Holmes put on paper at his pro day just isn't typical of selections outside of top-20 picks."
A best case scenario is for Holmes to make more impact than any rookie on this roster not named Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack. He'll likely be used as an outside linebacker, but a best case scenario has him showing flashes of what he showed at Montana as a pass rusher -- a guy who's able to create pressure inside and on the edge that leads to sacks or turnovers, like what @Youngbr2002 captured below. (Look at No. 49 on the left side of the line.)
I doubt Holmes will be asked to do much pass coverage, but run coverage could be something he'd face. Becoming an NFL-caliber run cover linebacker while still able to contribute to pressures, sacks, and turnovers is best case scenario.
Worst case scenario
Holmes is relegated to the practice squad. His worst case scenario is a bad training camp coupled with a good training camp for Yannick Ngakoue and Chris Smith. He wouldn't be cut out right, but he could start the season on the practice squad and then very little would be seen of him once the regular season starts and there's less time to experiment and see what they've got in Holmes.
I think Holmes makes the 53-man roster as a linebacker and that he'll find his way onto the roster in obvious passing downs rushing from the edge. A reasonable number of snaps would probably be 8-10 per game (including special teams) and a couple of plays where he combines with another player for a sack.