It came as a bit of shock to fans when the Falcons selected Lamar Holmes with the No. 91 overall pick in Round 3, but rest assured Thomas Dimitroff and the organization knew what they were getting themselves into.
Holmes is a huge, physical athlete standing in at 6-foot-6 and weighing 333 pounds. He began his career after high school at Itawamba Community College in northeast Mississippi. After two seasons he transferred to Southern Miss, and it didn’t take long for him to make an impact.
He was named a team captain by his teammates when he became a Golden Eagle due to his work ethic, which is not an easy feat to accomplish upon arrival to a new school.
“It was great for me being a captain by my teammates voting for me to be a team captain,” said Holmes. “Coming from junior college, they didn’t really have to do that. They didn’t really know me, but they voted me as team captain, I guess because they saw that I worked hard every day. Everything I did, if I had to get extra work in, I’d go in there and get it on my own. I guess that’s what inspired them, voting me as a team captain, which I’m glad they did.”
He earned first team All-Conference USA honors during his senior year after locking down left tackle and helping lead his team to a 12-2 record.
“I went to junior college when I was a freshman with my head down, just basically saying, ‘I’ve got to go in there and take somebody’s spot. I’ve got to earn a job. I’ve got to be on the field. I’m not here to make friends.’ I think that type of mentality, it carried me to where I am now. I went to Southern Miss with just the same mentality and I’ve just got to keep doing it,” said Holmes.
That type of mentality will get you somewhere in the NFL, a fact the Falcons clearly took note of. He doesn’t care that analysts projected him as a sixth-round pick at best. Holmes will enter training camp with the same mindset he’s always had, set on winning a starting role.
Can he start right away? He feels confident he can. “I do. I feel like I can come in there and be a contributor from Day 1, because I’m going to work and whoever’s across from me, I’m going to make them work hard every day, all day,” said Holmes.
He played left tackle exclusively for the past two seasons, another position the Falcons have been unsure of in recent years. Holmes needs some help with his footwork and technique, but he has the physical tools and attitude to make the left tackle competition even tougher on Sam Baker and Will Svitek.