Holden to Arizona in 5th round

April 29, 2017

Vanderbilt offensive lineman Will Holden was selected by Arizona in the fifth round of the NFL Draft on Saturday.

Holden, who started at both left and right tackle over the last three years, was taken as the No. 157 overall pick. He becomes the first Commodore selected by the Cardinals since defensive back Corey Chavous in 1998.

Holden becomes the second Vanderbilt standout selected in the 2017 draft. All-America linebacker Zach Cunningham was picked in the second round by Houston.

"All along, I'd heard it would be from the third to the fifth round and that's exactly how it worked out. I'm really thankful to be part of the Cardinals organization," Holden said. "I real excited about getting to Arizona and helping the organization any way I can." 

A product of Green Cove Springs, Fla., Holden becomes the first Vanderbilt offensive linemen drafted since Wesley Johnson was taken by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2014. He's also the fifth Commodore lineman selected in the last decade, joining Johnson, Ryan Seymour (2013), Thomas Welch (2010) and Chris Williams (2008).

"I'm very proud of everything Will accomplished this season," Vanderbilt head coach Mason said. "He made the most of his last year on campus, improving a great deal as a player and becoming an important leader off the field.

"I thought Will did a great job making the most of his opportunities. He played his best football in our biggest wins late in the season, and impressed a lot of scouts during his postseason appearances. I'm really happy for Will and his family," Mason added.

The versatile 6-7, 312-pound Holden earned 35 career collegiate starts: 25 at left tackle as a junior and senior, and 10 at right tackle as a sophomore. As a senior, Holden earned second team All-SEC recognition from league head coaches after registering nearly 30 pancake blocks while facing some of the nation's top defensive ends. He also earned SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week honors in late November for his blocking performance in Vanderbilt's 38-17 victory over Ole Miss.

Holden impressed pro personnel at three different postseason appearances after concluding his Vanderbilt career: the East-West Shrine Bowl, Reese's Senior Bowl and the NFL Scouting Combine.


 

 

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