Holmes Next Man Up at Right Tackle?

Holmes Next Man Up at Right Tackle?

Jay Adams

Published April 4, 2013 at 11:32 AM

When the Falcons selected Southern Miss offensive tackle Lamar Holmes in the third round of last year’s NFL Draft, more than a few heads among the fanbase were scratched. Seemingly a depth move, Holmes was projected by experts and analysts to be a starting caliber option at tackle.

With Tyson Clabo’s release Thursday, Holmes now looks to be the man to take his place.

Holmes, 6-foot-6, 333 pounds, had a solid Combine in 2012, running a 5.3 40-yard dash and recording 22 reps on the bench.

He played two seasons at Southern Miss after transferring from Itawamba Community College following the 2009 campaign. He was named a team captain by his teammates after transferring from junior college because of his work ethic. As a senior, he earned first team All-Conference USA honors after paving the way for the Golden Eagles to post more than 6,000 yards of total offense for the first time in school history. Holmes protected QB Austin Davis’ blind side, helping the quarterback throw for 3,496 yards with 30 touchdowns, and blocked for a rushing attack that averaged 205.1 yards per game.

In his first season at Southern Miss, Holmes played in 12 games with five starts and helped Davis earn second team All-Conference USA honors after throwing for 3,103 yards. He also played two seasons at Itawamba Community College, where he earned NJCAA Preseason All-America honors prior to the 2009 season and was a first-team MACJC North pick during his freshman campaign. Rivals.com ranked Holmes as a four-star performer and the number 18 junior college player in the nation. Prior to arriving at Itawamba, he was a standout performer at Huss High School in North Carolina.

Holmes came in to Falcons offseason training activities with a setback, injuring his foot during a workout before rookie minicamp. The injury kept him out of veteran minicamp, as well, and his first on-field work with the team was during training camp.

He looked to pick things up quickly, and saw some playing time in the preseason after then-backup tackle Will Svitek was lost for the season with an arm injury.

Not to be overlooked with the open position now is Mike Johnson, who has been cross-trained at guard and tackle during his three seasons with the Falcons.

A third-round draft pick by the Falcons in 2010, Johnson has seen a good amount of on-field work, even serving as the team’s jumbo tight end last season.

If things remain as they are, this will be one of the biggest position battles to watch in training camp.

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