Rob Ryan: Cole Holcomb's 'gonna surprise a lot of people'

Chris Lingebach
August 08, 2019 - 5:57 pm

Rob Ryan singled out one specific player to watch in the Redskins' preseason opener against the Cleveland Browns on Thursday: Cole Holcomb.

Asked in an interview with Chad Dukes on 106.7 The Fan this week who, in his position group, will surprise fans this season, Ryan replied, "I tell ya what, I think it'll start early in camp. I think this Cole Holcomb's gonna surprise a lot of people."

The Redskins selected 23-year-old Holcomb 173rd overall out of North Carolina, where he was a three-year starter with 100-plus tackles two out of three of those seasons. Holcomb, who stands at 6-foot-1, 240 pounds, recorded 104 tackles – eight for loss – and one sack during his senior season.

Despite his standout senior season, Holcomb did not receive an invite to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. But he went on to impress at UNC's pro day, clocking a 4.48 40-yard dash time and recording an 11-foot broad jump. Asked why he thinks he was snubbed by the combine, Holcomb told 106.7 The Fan's Craig Hoffman he didn't have a great answer.

"Being able to go to the combine is a tremendous opportunity," Holcomb said. "The guys that got to go, I was happy for 'em, I was excited for 'em. Training with a lot of them that ended up going, you wish the best for those guys and, yeah, it stunk that I wasn't able to get there and be able to show off, because I think it would have helped me out a lot throughout the process. But just put a little more emphasis on pro day and that's the way we looked at it."

It won't take long, Ryan says, for fans to realize the Redskins got a real steal in the draft.

"He's a young guy we drafted in the fifth-round, but he's a much more physical player than anybody really thought," Ryan said. "And he's very smart, and he's tough, he's fast. I think he's gonna do some great things and I think it'll be pretty obvious from Thursday on that we got a heck of a draft pick here."

Get to know Holcomb better in his 16-minute sitdown with Craig Hoffman:

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