Three Canadians selected on Day 2 of 2021 NFL Draft

Oregon safety Jevon Holland celebrates after sacking Wisconsin quarterback Jack Coan during second half of the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020, in Pasadena, Calif. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP)

Canadian Jevon Holland is off to South Beach after being selected by the Miami Dolphins 36th overall, making him the first of three Canadians who would ultimately be picked on Day 2 of the 2021 NFL Draft.

The native of Coquitlam, B.C., registered 66 tackles and four interceptions in 14 games for Oregon in 2019. Holland opted out of the 2020 season, finishing his Ducks career with 108 tackles and nine interceptions in 27 career contests.

Holland said he was surprised to hear the Dolphins call his name and had no idea he was on their radar and had a lot of excitement heading into Day 2 of the draft.

"Last night, I was a little tossing and turning but I had a good night sleep,'' Holland said during the Dolphins' draft zoom call. "I woke up (Friday) morning and went and worked out, then I sat down and was ready (to hear) my name called."

He is the first Canadian to be selected in the draft since Chase Claypool and Neville Gallimore were drafted in 2020. Holland was a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award as college football’s top defensive back and he was an All-Pac-12 second-team defender.

"I love being able to represent the Canadian people, for me to be to be in this position is a blessing," Holland explained. "I'm just honoured to be here. I'm overjoyed."

Holland played safety at Oregon and doesn't mind switching positions if it means getting a chance to contribute right away in Miami. He also said he modelled his game after safety Tyrann Mathieu.

His father, John, played at defensive back in both the NFL, with the San Francisco 49ers from 1992 to 1993, and CFL with B.C., Edmonton and Saskatchewan.

Washington selects Montreal native Benjamin St-Juste in third round

The Washington Football team selected Benjamin St-Juste with the 74th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

St-Juste earned academic All Big-Ten honours in his first season at the University of Minnesota after leading the team with 10 pass breakups. The 23-year-old played in five of Minnesota’s seven games in 2020, while recording 14 tackles and breaking up three passes.

The Montreal native opened a lot of eyes with a solid performance at the Senior Bowl, showing off his impressive speed to go along with his six-foot-three, 200-pound frame. He followed that up with a great showing at Minnesota's Pro Day, recording a 4.51-second 40-yard dash.

Like most Canadians, the Montreal native's path to the NFL draft was unconventional as St-Juste went from playing football in his hometown to trying to find a way to get noticed by a Division 1 school. He eventually earned a scholarship to play at Michigan before transferring to Minnesota ahead of the 2019 season.

WR Josh Palmer heads to Los Angeles to play with QB Justin Herbert

The third Canadian taken on Day 2 of the NFL Draft was receiver Josh Palmer, selected by the Los Angeles Chargers in the third round.

He left a great impression on scouts after a strong showing at the Senior Bowl, catching a 14-yard touchdown pass. Palmer's ability to produce against some of the top cornerbacks in the draft in Patrick Surtain II, Jaycee Horn, Eric Stokes and Tyson Campbell shouldn’t be ignored.

Palmer finished the 2020 season with 474 yards and four touchdowns on 33 receptions.

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