February 20, 2016 - Aaron Wilson
Montana standout pass rusher Tyrone Holmes intrigues NFL teams
Chasing down quarterbacks with power, speed and a relentless nature, Montana defensive end Tyrone Holmes led the nation with 18 sacks. He was named the Football Championship Subdivision Defensive Player of the Year, finishing his career second in school history with 34 sacks and 49 1/2 tackles for losses. After dominating the Big Sky Conference, the native of Eagle Point, Oregon is taking his multi-faceted game to the NFL. Snubbed for an NFL scouting combine invite, Holmes is still firmly on NFL scouts' radar. "I think my pass rushing is translatable to the next level," Holmes said. "I have a pretty good get-off. I have the initial get-off and athleticism. I'm always going to have that chip on my shoulder. It gives me an edge. I'm never going to be complacent. I'm not going to have anything handed to me. I want to prove everybody wrong. He's been working out with former Minnesota Vikings All-Pro defensive lineman Keith Millard in San Ramon, Calif. "He's a gnarly dude," Holmes said. "It's been good work with him." Holmes has been honing his pass-rushing moves, which include a speed-rip and a double-hand swipe. "I feel like I can definitely use more power more now," Holmes said. "I'm a lot faster, too. I kind of watch a ton of NFL guys and try to take different parts of each of them. I love watching Tamba Hali's hand-fighting. It's the best technique I've seen. It's fun to watch tape of him and Justin Houston. DeMarcus Ware was one of my very players, how athletic and smooth he is, guys like that and Connor Barwin and Trent Cole. I admire how they get off the ball. The 6-foot-3, 253-pounder was lightly recruited out of high school. He was recruited by Washington State and Portland State before deciding on Montana. "It was the perfect fit for me," said Holmes, who's represented by Noel LaMontagne of Eatern Athletic Services."It's pretty incredible." Holmes is preparing for a March 21 Pro Day. He played in the East-West Shrine all-star game, impressing NFL scouts. Holmes likely projects to a 3-4 outside linebacker position in the NFL. "I've dropped back in our zone pressures," said Holmes, who hopes to run the 40-yard dash in the 4.6 range with a 36-inch vertical leap.. "I think I'm athletic enough to do it. The plan has been to go and show out at my Pro Day. The NFL will find you wherever you are." Follow me on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL Aaron Wilson covers the Texans for The Houston Chronicle.