By Mike Max

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Jalyn Holmes believes he belongs at this level; believes he is a work in progress with a ceiling that will get better by being attentive.

“I’m coachable. It ain’t got nothing to do with skills, it’s just I’m coachable and I’m willing to do what I got to do to play any position that coach asks me to play,” Holmes said.

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Mike Zimmer asks a lot of his players, with an emphasis on intellect. He wants smart football players. He also needs athletic football players.

“He was a little bit of a pet cat all along. We watched him early at Ohio State and he’s played a bunch of different positions there,” Zimmer said. “But he’s got great size, great length, athletic ability. We still think he’s got a lot of raw, untapped potential.”

He has some history — used to line up in practice against Ohio State teammate turned Viking teammate Pat Elflein.

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“Pat Elflein, we went to Ohio State together, we won a lot of games together. So that’s probably one guy I know on the team,” Holmes said.

And he is a bit familiar with what will become his defensive teammates. Their reputation speaks loudly.

“[Everson] Griffen, [Linval] Joseph, all them guys, [Anthony] Barr, the linebackers. They’re kind of household names, so I knew about them,” Holmes said. “But I didn’t know the fanbase was so big until I actually got picked. It’s great fans, and I can’t wait to play for them.”

Let the process begin of trying to become one of them. The Vikings believe he has a chance.

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“He’s big and got great length, good speed, good first step quickness,” Zimmer said. “And there’s obviously a lot of things he’s got to work on, but the mold is there that we can try to get him to play like we want him to play.”

Mike Max