Rookie Rollins Headed For Big Things With Packers

Quinten Rollins

The Green Bay Packers recently wrapped up their rookie mini camp and much of the buzz surrounded second round cornerback Quinten Rollins.  He made a few nice interceptions, one of which came against another rookie, quarterback Brett Hundley, and would have likely been taken back for a score in a game.  It was just a brief display of what Rollins can do and it was against other players who have never played a snap at the pro level, but as they say, practice like you play.

If this practice was any indication of what more we can expect from Rollins as the Packers kick off their organized team activities (OTA’s) and then in training camp in late July, they may have found another second-round winner.

That Rollins was around the ball was no surprise.  After returning to football four years after he put the game to the side to focus on basketball, Rollins totaled seven interceptions for Miami (Ohio) this past season.  That helped him take home the MAC conference defensive player of the year award as well.  Much has been made about Rollins’ athletic ability (5’11”, 195 pounds, 4.57-40, 36.5 inch vertical and 122 inch broad jump), but that type of production isn’t just a fluke.  MAC competition isn’t comparable to the major conferences like the Big 10, Pac 12 or SEC, but NFL scouts are looking for guys who can make plays.  Rollins proved to be that guy in 2014.

We often see players who were very good in college come in and struggle at the pro level.  For one reason or another, their game just doesn’t translate as cleanly to the NFL.  In listening to Rollins speak and watching him play, it’s apparent that he has learned to carry himself well in life.  In a nice write up by former Packers safety Matt Bowen at Bleacher Report, he discusses how Rollins grew up without a father in his life and had a child of his own during college.  He still graduated in four years.  Another example of results that can’t happen by accident.

When this year’s free agency period started, many eyes were on the Packers and what they would do with veteran corners Tramon Williams and Davon House.  It didn’t seem likely that Green Bay would lose both.  But they did and suddenly, a position of recent strength became a need.  The Packers addressed this with their first two picks, adding Rollins in round two after having selected Arizona State safety Damarious Randall in round one.  We have yet to see either of these players in live action, but it appears as though the Packers personnel department had their eye on possible replacements for the departed cornerbacks.

With Sam Shields, Casey Hayward, Micah Hyde and Demetri Goodson already on the depth chart, it’s no certainty that Rollins can crack a starting spot.  It’s possible, but head coach Mike McCarthy tends to stick with his veterans unless they have a terrible training camp or one of the rookies performs off the charts.  Rollins could very easily be one of those guys this year.  His versatility allowed him to play both outside and inside last season and the Packers would be wise to figure out if he can cut it at either spot.  Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel discussed Rollins on a recent podcast and even mentioned the possibility that he could see some time at safety.  If the team has the unfortunate problem of too many good defensive backs at a time, they would be wise to get them all on the field in some capacity.  Rollins will most certainly be contributing on special teams, if nothing else.

I try to stay away from making the obvious mistake of anointing a rookie player a sure thing this early in the offseason, but there’s just something about Rollins that inspired me to write this piece and stake my claim.  Barring injury and by season’s end, we will be talking plenty about yet another successful rookie campaign by a second-round stud for the Green Bay Packers.

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Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on AllGreenBayPackers.com

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  • SchenySchen

    I hope he only see’s time in dime and special teams at this point because that should mean Hayward is playing well on the outside. GoPack!

  • rsmitty

    I have a feeling we are going to see more of that 2-3-6 this year. If these young guys pan out, we are going to have a top notch secondary going forward.

  • TedTomsin

    Jason, you are right to be excited about Rollins. He’s a 2nd round draft pick which is almost a guarantee he’ll be great when you look at our living legend TT’s track record in the 2nd round.
    I think what we are witnessing before our eyes is Ted Thompson taking defense and how it is viewed to another level. Three years from now you’ll be seeing 50% of NFL scouts now attending college basketball games looking for the next Quinten Rollins. This is all due to Ted’s vision. What can be said about this man that hasn’t already been said. The accolades just keep pouring in. I only hope he stays our GM for at least another 5 years. 10 would be gravy!!
    Ted

    • SchenySchen

      In the business we call that “laying it on pretty thick”….. Ted I love your positivity but even I’m ready to break out the rubbers to wade through stuff that thick. GoPack!

      • TedTomsin

        lol…So you don’t think Ted is setting a possible trend with the Rollins and Randle picks? If they pan out which they will, Ted has officially changed the way scouts do their jobs.. Just sayin’ Ted is thinking way outside the box with these picks and is possibly three years ahead of everyone else.
        You might not believe this Scheny but I will criticize Ted when it’s deserved. Right now he’s given me nothing to bitch about.
        Ted

    • aaronqb

      Ted picked Rollins because of what he did on the football field, not what he did as a point guard. I don’t expect NFL scouts to be attending college basketball games anytime soon.

  • Chad Lundberg

    Rollins may have as high a ceiling as a top ten pick imo. It’s quite amazing what he did in just one year, theoretically speaking, if he had played 3 he would have gotten so good he would have been in very high demand.

    I trust that TT knows EXACTLY what he is doing, not because I’m a typical kool-aid, no sir. I have a theory that when TT moves away from needs on the team, it’s because he’s doing what he knows how to do best. Look what happened in the 2012, the first six picks went entirely defense, but we didn’t get out of that draft nearly as much as we thought we would. Thompson should just stick to BPA, and that’s exactly what he did. Considering the circumstances, I deeply feel that Rollins will be a very big deal in the future. I’ve heard comparision to Darrelle Revis for example, not that I think he will be THE next Revis, I’m just trying to emphasize the fact that he played well enough to force people into seeing the comparison. This guy’s gonna be GOOD, imo.

    • TedTomsin

      What I am impressed with is how he carries himself. He’s articulate, well spoken and he graduated in 4 years from what I understand. Intelligence wise, he reminds me of Greg Jennings which means he’s probably a quick learner which also means he could contribute right away just like Jennings did. Brandon Bostick he’s not.

    • cow

      Ummm… 3 of their first 4 picks were “need” picks – CB, CB, ILB.

      • Mojo

        Right, someone wrote here a few days ago how Ted put on a clinic in drafting BPA throughout the draft. Considering most would say the Packers biggest needs prior to the draft were at CB, ILB, TE, D-line and special teams, I would say the only two selections that weren’t need picks were the QB and FB. And someone could argue they need to replace Tolzien and Kuhn in the near future too.

      • Chad Lundberg

        He didn’t need two CB’s, and ILB was a FAR greater need that demanded far more addressing, yet he waited until the 4th round to get one. ILB was REALLY freaking bad last year, so much so that most if not all mock drafts were predicting that Thompson would select one in the first round. Thompson didn’t see it that way. He even had Paul Dawson, one of the highest rated ILB’s in the draft sitting right there in his lap in round 3, yet he took a receiver, a friggin RECEIVER.

        • TC

          I tend to disagree.
          I think we had one of the best lnside linebackers in the league, Mathews and Barrington. We need a little depth but with Bradford and now the rookie we should be set. Nice job TT.
          I likey.

      • TC

        Thats fantastic when the need matches the BPA.
        Good Job, Uncle Teddy.

    • http://allgbp.com/ Thegreatreynoldo

      Rollins does not have elite measurables, particularly his 4.57 forty yard dash time. He has time to develop elite instincts, which would really help, and he does have excellent fluidity in his hips. I like this pick.

  • Jay

    I have high hopes for him, and think he could turn out to be a steal.

  • Rev. Matthew Book

    Rollins may be a great pick, but we are only plugging a hole that opened up after the season. We had to dedicate our top two picks to that rather than work on upgrading other positions like ILB, defensive lineman, and tight end.

  • http://allgbp.com/ Thegreatreynoldo

    Really like Rollins. High floor, decent ceiling. He’s got a good chance.

  • Nick Perry

    I love the Rollins pick, especially late in the 2nd round. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this kid see’s the field more than Randell in year one. The Randell pick is still growing on me, really hoping Eddie Goldman is a bust or JAG considering he went to the Bears. I still wonder is Brown or Goldman was a better pick than Randell.

    • SchenySchen

      Nick,
      Keep in mind, Goldman wouldn’t beat out Raji or possibly even Guion in the lineup. When would he play? There was a reason NT’s were left at the end of the round. None of them had first round grades. Tough position to move from college to pro’s even for the really good ones. Keep picking for the future and the present will take care of itself. –just a thought to make you feel better about us not picking Goldman. GoPack!

      • Nick Perry

        Good points Scheny, though that was part of my thought process with Brown or Goldman. Raji and Guion are both on one year deals so the future was something I was thinking about as well when suggesting Goldman or Brown. Brown was ranked as the 19th best overall prospect by some so I wonder why he lasted until the end of the first round. I read somewhere that Brown was best suited for a 4-3 defense too. Overall I’m happy with the draft, especially our 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round picks. Hey if Raji plays even close to 2010 when he’s back at NT and Guion plays like last year, the Packers will be more than good enough up front. Thompson HAD to restock the Defensive Backfield and he did a good job all in all.

  • billy

    Ive heard this before about Nick Perry, Dick Rodgers, DaTone Jones among others…i would be hesitant to say anything like this already…everyones an all pro in the early part of the year…