Holmes broke into the lineup during his sophomore season. He started at right guard and was an All-Pac-10 honorable mention. Holmes moved over to center as a junior and had an impressive season. He did a good job of opening up holes in the ground game for Curtis McNeal and Marc Tyler. Holmes was a fabulous pass-protector for Barkley. The center led the way to keep the pocket clean, helping Barkley to have a fantastic season for the Trojans.
2012 Season Outlook:
There is no reason to believe that Holmes won't have an excellent season. USC is bringing back a ton of talent including Barkley and McNeal. The offensive line lost superstar left tackle Matt Kalil, but that shouldn't have a real impact on Holmes' blocking assignments. Overall, he has a workable schedule highlighted by two tough matchups.
It would really help Holmes' stock if he plays well against Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei and UCLA tackle Cassius Marsh. Lotulelei is a potential top-10 pick next April, so Holmes will see a tough challenge with the Utes standout. Aside from those games, Holmes has the talent to impress in 2012 and should have a good year blocking for USC.
There is a lot for NFL teams to like about Holmes. He is a perfect candidate to protect the pocket for a signal-caller in the passing-driven NFL. Holmes' mobility and pass-protection skills are exactly what the NFL is looking for. He can move quickly to get in position to pick up blitzers but also has the skills to fire out of stance and double-team defensive tackles with guards.
Holmes has nice awareness to pick up pass-rushers. It would be helpful if he added more strength and power to his base for the next level. That would help him anchor against zero-technique defensive tackles who line up directly over the center. With some of the heavy and powerful 3-4 nose tackles in the NFL, Holmes ability to stonewall their bull-rushes could be challenged. The redshirt senior should have the height to add some extra bulk to handle the big tackles.
Holmes is quick to the next level of the defense as a run-blocker. He hits blocks on linebackers to help spring his backs for more yardage. Holmes also combo-blocks well with his guards. In the NFL, he would be best as a zone-blocker who can use his speed and athleticism. If Holmes is drafted into a power scheme, he definitely should fill out his frame with another 10-15 pounds.
Centers are a critical position in the NFL for interior pass-protection. Holmes looks like a future NFL starter, and teams that are heavy on passing the ball will like what they see with from the Trojans center.
2013 Draft Expectations:
Holmes looks like a second-round pick entering his senior season. He hasn't really been dominant enough to push for late first-round consideration. If Holmes is inconsistent in 2012, he could slide into the mid-rounds.
Walter your inability to bet the Patriots all year with Brady on the team is inexplicable. Yes, since Brady came back from suspension, you bet the Patriots 0 times, even though they covered as decent and often huge favorites. Why? Why are you more afraid than Goodell is to show up at Foxborough to bet on a great team to beat inferior oponents by a large margin? You lost out on a lot of money. As for the Patriots defense who will be "overwhelmed" by Pittsburgh hahaha, the Patriots defense has stepped up when it needed to. Logan Ryan who is not even the best DB let alone CB on the team just had a dominant game covering one of the best wide receivers in the league. And you're going to say that Brady can't go stride for stride against Big Ben who, with his 0 TD performance last Sunday, once again proved that he has turned into an awful road playoff QB? You know what 0 TDs will win you in the AFC Championship game? I don't believe that betting on Pitt getting 6 points is a bad decision - seeing as I may do the same. But to predict the Patriots to straight up lose is laughable. The advantage they have on defense and coaching is pretty big and they may even be even offensively solely because Brady has been using Edelman more and more and Dion Lewis's return has shown to be very important.