Valentine Holmes impresses in first NFL pre-season appearance for New York Jets

Valentine Holmes playing for the New York Jets on Friday morning (AEST). Picture: AP Photo
Valentine Holmes playing for the New York Jets on Friday morning (AEST). Picture: AP Photo

Valentine Holmes has impressed in his first taste of the NFL, showing glimpses of his ability as the New York Jets went down to cross-town rivals the New York Giants in their first pre-season game.

Holmes' Jets suffered a 31-22 defeat at the MetLife Stadium, New Jersey on Friday morning (AEST), with the former Cronulla Sharks star benched for the opening three quarters.

The 24-year-old was called into the game in the final quarter as a running back. Despite his limited playing time Holmes made the most of his opportunity.

Holmes finished with three receptions for 30 yards and three carries for six yards. He showed glimpses of his skillful hands as well as his dynamic speed.

Holmes also wore a crunching hit from Giants' safety Kenny Ladler. But it was nothing he would not be used to from his time in the NRL, with Holmes brushing it off and bouncing back up quickly.

"I was itching to get on. I'm really excited I was able to play and get that first touch out of the way. I'll be even more confident over the next couple of days," Holmes told Channel Nine.

"We always watch games like this on TV, to be able to experience it - right next to these guys and step out onto the field and play, is something special.

"I want to play as many positions as I can on the field on special teams.

"We didn't come out the way we wanted to, but I thought we did OK."

Holmes is a member of the NFL's International Player Pathway Program, meaning the Jets can keep him on their practice squad for the season without having to cut another player.

NFL teams must slash their pre-season rosters from around 90 players to 53 for the regular season.

Holmes walked away from a lucrative contract offer with the Sharks late last year to chase his NFL dream.