Matt Barkley's center dating back to their high school days, Holmes didn't become a starter at USC until 2010, when he started all 13 games at right guard, earning honorable mention all-conference honors. He made the move to center as a junior, playing surprisingly well at the position despite his inexperience and earning Second Team All-Pac-12 accolades.
He earned First Team honors as a senior and was even named a Rimington finalist as one of the nation's elite at the position despite the fact that he took a step back in 2012. Holmes was beaten (badly, at times) in a high profile matchup against Utah's Star Lotulelei and struggled against powerful interior linemen throughout the season. Some of this may have been due to an ankle injury which caused him to miss the Stanford game and limited him in several others.
Intelligent and athletic enough to project to any of the three interior positions, Holmes will resurrect the USC tradition of sending interior linemen to the NFL. Following a senior season in which he struggled at times despite his hype, the call may not come until the third day of the draft.
Alert. Keeps his head on a swivel and is competitive, looking to help out his teammates. Tough. Played through a nagging ankle injury throughout much of the 2012 season that earned the respect of his teammates and the coaching staff. Good bloodlines; the younger brother of former USC tight end Alex Holmes, who played for the Miami Dolphins in 2005. Highly intelligent. Earned his Master's Degree in Communications in 2012 with a 3.31 GPA.
WEAKNESSES: Struggles against power and may be limited to zone-blocking schemes in the NFL. Was too often pushed deep into the pocket by bigger, explosive defenders (including, but not limited to Utah's Star Lotulelei) in 2012 and may be viewed as strictly as offensive guard convert at the next level.
Plays high too often, losing the leverage battle and making himself weaker than his size and weight-room strength would indicate. Spends too much time on the ground. Struggled with leg injuries in 2012 that will need to be investigated by NFL teams.
COMPARES TO: Peter Konz, OG, Atlanta Falcons -- Like the former Wisconsin center, Holmes' ultimate pro position could be guard. While he possesses the intelligence to remain on the pivot and has started every game of his collegiate career at this position (just as Konz did), Holmes' athleticism and lack of ideal power in his base could necessitate a move to the outside.