Where will Khaled Holmes get drafted? Well, who needs a center? The former Trojan center and Matt Barkley’s long-time best friend has been solid in his pre-draft workouts at the Combine and Pro Day, making him a near-consensus fourth rated center in this year’s draft, behind Wisconsin’s Travis Frederick, Cal’s Brian Schwenke and Alabama’s Barrett Jones.
Much like Jones, Holmes has played multiple positions on the offensive line, having moved from guard to center back in 2011 to replace Kris O’Dowd, who had graduated.
While at USC, Holmes was the anchor of the offensive line, as was obvious in last September’s loss to Stanford in Palo Alto, when the senior missed the game with a leg injury. Redshirt freshman Cyrus Hobbi started in his place and was nowhere near as effective as Holmes in reading the defense’s gap assignments, and calling out blocking assignments and audibles.
That leadership presence is what helps Holmes as a draft prospect, in addition to a big frame at 6-foot-3, 302 pounds. The NFL is moving towards bigger, faster centers, and with success stories like Barrett Jones and Khaled Holmes, there could be more evolution to the trend of moving top college tackles and guards inside and on top of the ball.
As for draft position, Holmes is projected to go anywhere from the 4th to 5th round, though some draft projections have him falling down to the 7th round, as seen below from WalterFootball.com.
Matt Miller of Bleacher Report: 5th Round, 137th overall to Detroit Lions [Link]
Bleeding Green Nation of SB Nation: 5th Round, 153rd overall to Chicago Bears [Link]
Walter Cherepinsky of Walter Football: 7th Round, 218th overall to Philadelphia Eagles [Link]