The Redskins' final pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Joshua Holsey proved his abilities when healthy at Auburn. In 2017, he could very well 'be thrown into the mix,' as nickel cornerback.
The Washington Redskins took every possible avenue when it came to improving the secondary this offseason, signing D.J. Swearinger in free agency, moving Sua Cravens to safety full-time and drafting a pair defensive backs in the draft, one being cornerback Joshua Holsey.
Holsey adds a lot of potential to an already deep secondary but, unfortunately, he has been labeled as injury prone, having torn his ACL twice while in college.
But after missing all of 2015 with the aforementioned injury the Fairburn, GA. native had a breakout season as a senior in 2016 and more importantly a healthy one.
"It was big, honestly that was my goal coming back this past year," said Holsey. "My only goal, everybody has different goals and some want to be All-SEC or All-American, but my only goal was to make it through the end of the year healthy. The rest would take care of itself, making it through the end of the year healthy and leaving that last game being able to walk without having any injuries, those were my main goals. That was my big focus, just to stay healthy. I know once I am healthy that I can play with the best of them and my film kind of showed that this year."
Holsey finished the 2016 season with 30 tackles, 10 passes defensed and three interceptions. During that comeback campaign, he put the injuries behind him and got marked with another label, a big game performer.
"You got to make those plays," Holsey said of his performances in 2016. "When you are the vet, the old guy in the room your teammates look up to you so you got to be the guy that makes those plays. So why not be the guy that makes that play. I like those big stages. You got to step up and got to perform. That brings the best out of everybody in my opinion."
At only 5-foot-10, 195 pounds, Holsey is known for his tenacity and willingness to be put on an island against teams' top receiving options. When covering top-notch talent, he understands that you can't win every down and have to move on to the next play.
"You've got to have that next play mentality," Holsey said. "You can't let one play effect you at all. It's the nature of the game, everybody gets beat. One of my DB coaches always told me 'If you never got beat that means you have never been in the game before'… The next play
On Saturday, April 29, 2017, the Washington Redskins selected cornerback Joshua Holsey with the 235th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
mentality, you've got to erase that play and make the next play that comes. You have to have a short memory as well. You can't be dwelling on who gave up the ball. Short memory is the best way to be the best corner."
A big reason the Redskins are excited about Holsey is his ability to play inside and defend the slot, something the Redskins struggled with at times in 2016
"You look as his measurables and he's not the biggest guy in the world, but he competes as good as any corner we've seen out there," said Redskins head coach Jay Gruden. "We're excited to throw him in the mix and let him compete at nickel/corner and special teams obviously."
Holsey's injured past was one reason for him falling in the draft and becoming essentially the Redskins' Mr. Irrelevant pick in this year's draft, but he feels never lost focus on his goal which is something he learned from his father who lost a leg in 2004 while serving in Iraq.
"The way he goes about things it helped me how I go about myself on the field and off the field as well," said Holsey of his father, Johnathan. "Especially with what he went through, he bounced back from having to learn on a prosthetic and almost a year later running in marathons. That's no joke, you got to have determination and a passion about yourself to work on getting better and keep going and not to quit no matter what. That kind of carried over with me when I had my two injuries and everything I go through."