The NFL Draft passed through all seven rounds in April without any team choosing Auburn’s Jeff Holland. He ended up signing as a free agent with the Denver Broncos.
During the Broncos’ minicamp, Denver coach Vance Joseph said of Holland: “We had a draftable grade on him as an outside linebacker, so it was really cool to get him signed.”
With the Broncos’ starters taking the night off in the preseason finale on Thursday, Holland showed something of what Joseph was talking about in Denver’s 21-10 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.
Holland ended the first half by sacking Arizona quarterback Mike Glennon for a 12-yard loss.
Holland also recovered a fumble at the Cardinals’ 23-yard line that set up a touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter for the Broncos.
Now Holland must wait to see if he’s done enough since joining the Broncos to advance to the regular-season roster. NFL teams must reduce their preseason rosters, which can have as many as 90 players, to the regular-season limit of 53 by 3 p.m. CDT Saturday.
Holland was among the 29 former Auburn players who got on the field during the final night of the NFL’s 2018 preseason.
The former Auburn players who started on Thursday included:
- Strong safety Rudy Ford (New Hope) of the Cardinals made four tackles against the Broncos.
- Running back Cameron Artis-Payne of the Carolina Panthers ran for 35 yards on five carries and caught two passes for 7 yards in a 39-24 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
- Right defensive end Carl Lawson of the Cincinnati Bengals registered one tackle and forced a fumble in a 27-26 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Lawson caused the fumble on the Colts’ first possession, and the Bengals recovered at the Indianapolis 41 and went on to score the game’s first touchdown.
- Right offensive tackle Greg Robinson of the Cleveland Browns in a 35-17 victory over the Detroit Lions.
- Defensive end Montravius Adams and safety Jermaine Whitehead of the Green Bay Packers in a 33-21 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Whitehead made two tackles and Adams had one.
- Nose tackle Angelo Blackson, wide receiver Sammie Coates (Leroy) and right guard Chad Slade of the Houston Texans in a 14-6 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.
- Right guard Braden Smith and free safety Robenson Therezie of the Colts against the Bengals. Therezie made three tackles, including one behind the line of scrimmage.
- Defensive tackle Devaroe Lawrence of the New Orleans Saints made a tackle behind the line of scrimmage in a 28-0 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.
- Defensive tackle Davonte Lambert of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made four tackles in a 25-10 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
- Inside linebacker Daren Bates of the Tennessee Titans recorded one tackle in a 13-3 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
Other former Auburn players seeing action on Thursday included:
- Atlanta Falcons long snapper Josh Harris in a 34-7 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
- Chicago Bears defensive back John Franklin III, cornerback Jonathon Mincy and place-kicker Cody Parkey in a 28-27 loss to the Buffalo Bills. Parkey connected on field goals of 23 and 27 yards, but he hit the right upright on an attempt from 39 yards. He made his three extra-point kicks. Mincy made three tackles, including a sack. Franklin had two tackles, broke up a pass and returned a kickoff for 19 yards.
- Browns offensive tackle Shon Coleman against the Lions.
- Texans wide receiver Quan Bray and fullback Jay Prosch against the Cowboys. Bray caught three passes for 44 yards and returned two punts for 17 yards. Prosch made a special-teams tackle.
- Vikings place-kicker Daniel Carlson and safety Tray Matthews against the Titans. Carlson made both his field-goal attempts — connecting from 22 and 39 yards — and kicked a PAT.
- New York Jets offensive tackle Darius James in a 10-9 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
- Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Gabe Wright made three tackles, including one behind the line of scrimmage, in a 30-19 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
- Seahawks cornerback Trovon Reed against the Raiders.
- Washington Redskins center Casey Dunn (Hewitt-Trussville) and linebacker Cassanova McKinzy (Woodlawn) in a 30-20 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. McKinzy registered one tackle.
FOR MORE OF AL.COM’S COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE OF THE NFL, GO TO OUR NFL PAGE
Cardinals linebacker Josh Bynes, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah, Lions running back Kerryon Johnson (Madison Academy), Chiefs outside linebacker Dee Ford (St. Clair County), Jaguars running back Corey Grant (Opelika), Rams safety Blake Countess, New England Patriots cornerback Jonathan Jones and linebacker Brandon King (Thompson), Seahawks cornerback Neiko Thorpe and Buccaneers running back Peyton Barber and cornerback Carlton Davis did not play.
Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @AMarkG1.