With the 62nd pick of the NBA Draft the Green Bay Packers select … point guard Quinten Rollins from Miami (Ohio) University. Wait, that’s not right, sorry. With the 62nd pick of the NFL Draft the Green Bay Packers selected cornerback Quinten Rollins from Miami (Ohio) University.
Between Rollins and Randall in the first round, you get the feeling that Ted Thompson just wants to remind people who he is and what he can do. Lots of people around Packer country may have been left saying, “Who?” after the first two picks, Rollins especially.
A lot of Packer fans may have felt that Ted even reached with Rollins. I disagree and you will see why in a bit.
All that being said, Ted Thompson almost always knocks his second round picks out of the park. Since 2005 there is a pretty impressive list of names in the Packers’ second round picks:
Nick Collins, Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Mike Neal, Randall Cobb, Casey Hayward, Eddie Lacy, and Davante Adams… I’d say that’s a pretty damn impressive group. They also traded their pick in 2009 to move up to get some guy named Clay Matthews. Welcome to the club, Quinten! I’m pretty confident you will be thought of in the high regards as the others on that list.
Quinten Rollins has only one season of college football under his belt. He was four-year starting guard, and two-time captain, for the Miami Redhawks basketball team. He finished his basketball career 12th in MAC history in steals… can’t wait to see him against Jay Cutler.
Rollins had not played football since he played in high school. Last year a Baltimore Ravens scout mentioned to him that he should give football a try, so he did for his senior season. He’s a little bit different of a story than you usually hear of basketball players switching to football, typically most end up being athletic large-bodied players that learn to play something like tight end. Being able to switch from basketball to having to learn cornerback basically on the fly is quite impressive.
Nothing Rollins did at the combine sticks out, he had a very mediocre combine. What sticks out about Rollins is his awareness and understanding of the game, as well as his on the field skill. He may not have elite combine numbers, but his quickness on the field is very real.
There were three years separated from playing any football for Rollins (let alone cornerback), but he made his one season count and got 7 of the Redhawks 11 interceptions on the season, including one for a touchdown. Leading to an eventual MAC Defensive Player of the Year.
What they’re saying:
“His skill-set transfers to football. You see it from the recognition skills and closing bursts… Jumping routes early and being in position. This guy is just a good athlete who understands the game of basketball and the game of football.” – Todd McShay via ESPN.
“Great balls skills. I think he really improved as the season went along. He played well the entire time he was there. He was probably their best player in week two of the season and the guy only played since that spring. I thought he was fairly easy to evaluate.” -Brian Gutekunst, Packers director of college scouting.
“Rare start-stop-start suddenness. His ability to change gears instantly give him a chance to develop into a talented cover cornerback. With more work on technique and overall discipline, Rollins has the physical tools to become a very good NFL starter.” – NFL.com
Who was on the board at No. 62:
Seattle took Michigan defensive end, Frank Clark immediately after the Packers took Rollins. Defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa from UCLA was a popular guess for the pick among Packer fans. Otherwise tight end Clive Walford from Miami and Paul Dawson, ILB from TCU are the names that stand out the most.
Why they went with Rollins:
The Packers have a history of uncovering talent and taking risks. The ceiling for Rollins is very high and I think that potential was just too much for the Packers to pass on, they’d rather take a player a little early than miss out on him entirely. Scouts are raving about Rollins and most of the issues seen with him are due to his inexperience. I have to believe the Packers feel with some more coaching they can polish his game and turn him into one of the elite corners in the league. The guy looks like he can flat out play.
With the 94th pick of the NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers selected Stanford wide receiver Ty Montgomery.
Ted Thompson again with another questionable pick at first glance, that’s 3 for 3 this draft.
Ty Montgomery is best known for his kick return skills and coming into the draft was considered to be one of the best returners in the draft. He had a fantastic 2013 season with 958 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns, leading the team in both categories. 2014 however saw him only get 604 yards and three touchdowns, causing his value to slip to where he was taken by the Packers. He also had a combined 303 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns over the last two seasons.
Montgomery says his receiving yards were down because he was asked to do a lot more work catching passes behind the line of scrimmage this year.
For a kick return guy, he does not have elite speed (he ran a 4.55 at the combine) but he did have almost 1,100 return yards on 36 kickoffs in 2013 to go with two touchdowns. He only had 17 returns for 429 yards and no touchdowns last season.
Injuries really hampered his seasons last year and in 2012.
What they’re saying:
“Montgomery is a likable person with high character and an ability to leave a positive impression in draft interviews, but teams will still have to figure out how they want to use him. His hands might not be trustworthy enough to be part of a three-wide-receiver set. Montgomery can flip fields and change games with his ability in the return game and might be best-utilized in a dynamic, open-minded offensive system that gets the ball in his hands quickly and allows him to use his run after catch talents.” – NFL.com
“He’s a bigger Randall Cobb and he can lineup anywhere.” – Packers’ scout Same Seale
“Top athlete when healthy. Well-built with long arms, broad shoulders and a thick lower half. Appears well-suited to making the jump to the NFL. Quickly accelerates to leave defenders in his wake and is very aggressive, bursting upfield and fighting through arm tackles to generate positive yardage rather than dancing to avoid contact… Like a lot of players with a rocked-up build, doesn’t possess ideal lateral agility and flexibility, making him a bit straight-linish. Average explosion out of his breaks, perhaps one of the reasons why most of his damage came on vertical or quick screens. Allows too many passes to get to his pads, resulting in some ugly drops in which the ball simply goes right through his fingers. ” – cbssports.com
“He’s a very strong runner, very instinctive, has good quickness,” – Ted Thompson
Who was on the board at 94:
Once thought of potential first round pick, Paul Dawson feels like he could have been a steal as he was still available at pick 94. Clearly the reported attitude problems, off the field issues, and poor combine really stuck with teams. East Carolina receiver Justin Hardy was still available too, he’s one of the most productive receivers in the history of the NCAA and I would almost rather have seen the Packers take him over Montgomery. OLB Kwon Alexander from LSU was available there as well.
Why they went with Montgomery:
Clearly the comments about Montgomery reminding of them of Cobb stick out. He is definitely as versatile as Cobb, Montgomery mentioned that teams were even looking at him as a running back. I can see him as a second slot guy in 4-wide sets and replacement for Cobb if Cobb is injured. If the Packers can space the field and get him the ball at the second level to make plays after the catch, that could be his biggest strength and I envision that is a big reason why they took him. He has big play potential and that is something the Packers are missing a little bit out of their receivers.
I get the feeling that the Packers really like having Nelson and Adams on the outside and want to make sure there is a capable replacement for Cobb if he were to go down. The most glaring reason why the Packers would be interested in Montgomery though has to be his kick return skills. The Packers ranked second to last in the kick return game last year and absolutely need to improve on that, Montgomery should help with that.
Mike Reuter lives in the Twin Cities and is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas. He is a mobile tech enthusiast, a 19 year Gopher Football season ticket holder and a huge Packers fan. Mike is a writer with AllGreenBayPackers.com and you can follow him on twitter at @uofmike.