*EAGAN, Minn. – *Jalyn Holmes didn’t have to wait long on Day 3 to get the call he’s been waiting for his whole life.
The Vikings drafted Holmes with the second pick of the day, No. 102 overall, to further strengthen their defensive line.
“As soon as my phone rang, I already knew what team it was,” Holmes told Twin Cities media via a conference call shortly after the selection. “I’m just grateful I got drafted to a great fit, a great D-line coach, a team that’s ready to compete for a Super Bowl next year.”
The 6-foot-5 defensive end out of Ohio State referred to Vikings defensive line coach Andre Patterson, who met with Holmes in Indianapolis at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Holmes said he established a “good relationship” with Patterson during formal interviews, and the two went over film cut-ups.
“I met him again at pro day. He basically ran our pro day for the whole defensive line,” Holmes said. “And then we talked a couple times on the phone after the pro day.”
Patterson won’t be the only familiar face when Holmes arrives in Minnesota.
He will reunite with former Buckeyes center Pat Elflein, drafted in the third round by the Vikings in 2017. Holmes said he’s anticipating a text from his former teammate when he sorts through messages “blowing up” his phone.
“He came back and talked to the team [at Ohio State],” Holmes said. “We’ve seen Pat a couple times when he had the ability to do that, and he always spoke really highly of the organization he was playing for, so I’m really glad to be a part of it.”
Holmes is aware of the Vikings rotational approach on the defensive line and buys in to the philosophy. He explained that the Buckeyes used a similar method in his past two seasons, and it paid off for the Big Ten team.
“It helped us a lot to be able to rotate seven or eight guys that can really play in the game,” Holmes said. “I feel like that helps the starters for the fourth quarter – it really helps the defense, man. You get new, fresh legs to rush the quarterback, and you constantly have to keep rushing the quarterback.”
Holmes, praised by NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock for his “versatility as an inside-out player,” played primarily defensive end at Ohio State but sometimes kicked inside on third-down plays.
Whatever role he’s asked to fill at the pro level, Holmes said he just wants to “be there” for this new team.
“Right now, I’m whatever they want me to be,” Holmes said.
Holmes was part of a talented defensive line corps Ohio State, and he had to battle for a main role in the unit. The Buckeyes team captain made nine starts in 2017. Holmes said he didn’t regret the competition but rather benefited from it.
“Honestly, it was fun. At the end of the day, it’s football,” Holmes said. “At Ohio State, that’s one thing – I’m glad I went there – we learned how to compete, we learned how to respect each other, and we learned how to win together. That’s what I plan to do [in] Minnesota – I plan to compete always and just do my part to help Minnesota win games.”