Quinten Rolins Brings Basketball Skills to the Football Field

The Miami of Ohio cornerback is seeing his stock rising after a terrific season, Senior Bowl and NFL Combine.

Miami (Oh.) cornerback Quinten Rollins at the NFL Combine—Brian Carriveau, CheeseheadTV.com.

Miami (Oh.) cornerback Quinten Rollins at the NFL Combine—Brian Carriveau, CheeseheadTV.com.

INDIANAPOLIS—In this past year's NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers selected Demetri Goodson, the Gonzaga point guard turned Baylor cornerback. They weren't deterred by a player in whom they saw potential despite a lack of extensive football experience.

Perhaps the Packers will feel the same about Quinten Rollins, a former Miami (Oh.) basketball player that switched to football to complete his fifth and final year of college eligibility in 2014. Regardless of his relative dearth of playing time, Rollins thinks he can be an immediate contributor in the NFL.

"Whatever it takes to help the team, obviously, but at the same time I want to come in and make an impact right away," said Rollins at the NFL Combine. "Hopefully someone sees it in me and I look forward to doing it."

It's remarkable what Rollins has been able to do in a short amount of time. He went from the first day of football wondering "What am I doing here?" to being in the conversation as a high-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.

"I'm a Quinten Rollins guy," said Mike Mayock of the NFL Network. "I called (Miami head coach) Chuck Martin and had a long conversation with him. For the kid to not play any college football to step on the gridiron and pick off seven passes and become the MAC Defensive Player of the Year is pretty mind boggling to me.

"It's a great story. He's quick, he's explosive, he has great jumping skills. I think his skillset correlates to what we'd expect from a point guard in basketball, which is what he was for four years."

Without knowing Rollins, an outsider might guess he wasn't a very good basketball player, but that's not the case. He might not be NBA material, but he was a productive player at Miami.

A quick look at Rollins' hardcourt accomplishments shows that he ranks second in Miami history in steals (214), fourth in assists (391), seventh in games started (106) and ninth in minutes played (3,448).

In fact, it's Rollins' ability to grab steals in basketball that he thinks has some crossover to his new sport of choice.

"I just have a knack for the ball—a natural knack for the ball," said Rollins. "I’ve always had that since I was a kid. Love getting steals, love getting interceptions. I was fortunate enough to be an offensive player in high school so that’s where I get my ball skills from. It all translates."

After one superb season on the Miami football team, Rollins was invited to the Senior Bowl, the nation's premier college all-star game, where he created a buzz that has carried over to the Combine.

"I think the one question I have with all the scouts is what is the long speed," said Mayock. "I don't think he's that fast. If he runs 4.5, I think he's a second round pick all day long. There were questions at The Senior Bowl. It didn't look like he had make-up speed. So he's one of the kids whose 40 is really important this week. I'm rooting for the kid to run in that 4.50 range."

Officially, Rollins' fastest attempt at the 40-yard dash at the Combine clocked in at 4.57 seconds.

Mayock might think Rollins is a second-round prospect, but maybe, just maybe it's not out of the realm of possibility the Packers could consider him late in the first round with the 30th overall selection.

The notion that Rollins could be pursued by the Packers might depend on what happens at the cornerback position in free agency. Both Tramon Williams and Davon House are set to hit the open market on March 10 assuming they don't agree to a contract extension prior to that date.

If the Packers prioritize fellow free agents Randall Cobb and Bryan Bulaga ahead of their cornerbacks, it's quite possible Williams and House lose patience and explore other options in the NFL.

Should the Packers lose two cornerbacks that played big roles on the team, it makes sense they'd look to bolster the cornerback position on Day 1 or 2 of the Draft. Rollins said the Packers didn't have a formal meeting with him at the Combine, but he did meet with them on an informal basis.

As far as what the future holds for Rollins, the sky's the limit.

"I’m definitely curious to see what my upside is, just because I know I’ve got so much more learning to do," said Rollins. "Even though I’m a fast learner, I’ve got a lot of learning to do. The NFL coaching at the Senior Bowl was great, and I’m just ready to go to an organization and learn their schemes and get some of their coaching and keep continuing to build from there on out. I think I’ll be pretty happy. In five years, hopefully I’ll be on a second contract and then be one of the household names in the NFL."

 

Brian Carriveau is the author of the book "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor at Cheesehead TV and its "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email [email protected].

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Comments (19)

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RCPackerFan's picture

February 23, 2015 at 12:43 pm

Rollins to me is the most intriguing player in the draft.

I never heard of him until the Senior Bowl, and when i watched him there, I was very impressed with him. To only play 1 year of college football and be talked about being a possible 1st round pick, is amazing.

He showed in his only year of playing that he can be a playmaking CB. A possible game changing type of CB.

I would definitely consider him at 30 if I'm the Packers.

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White92's picture

February 23, 2015 at 01:50 pm

They can't let Williams and House walk, can they?

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LeagueObsrvr's picture

February 23, 2015 at 11:56 pm

They have indicated they would like to resign House, and they'll probably let Williams go. It's understandable as they want to go with the younger, cheaper player and House has been groomed in the system for several years now.

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Evan's picture

February 23, 2015 at 02:07 pm

It's a minor nit to pick, but could you list the player's height/weight in these player profiles? Seems relevant and saves me the time of googling it. ha.

FYI: 6'1", 203. Nice size.

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FITZCORE1252's picture

February 23, 2015 at 07:27 pm

Agreed! I've thought the same thing.

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HankScorpio's picture

February 24, 2015 at 08:01 am

His page at NFL.com say 5'11", 195. I presume those are the official combine measurements.

http://www.nfl.com/combine/profiles/quinten-rollins?id=2552263

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Evan's picture

February 24, 2015 at 08:08 am

Weird. Yesterday when I checked nfl.com it had 6'1/203.

I guess they updated it with his official combine measurements?

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HankScorpio's picture

February 24, 2015 at 08:35 am

I would guess so.

It would seem likely they created player pages beforehand using information from the schools. And we all know how that goes. Maybe they were working it to enter all the measurements and results for a particular player at once, even though he would have been measured on Sunday and thus your Monday check should have been after the NFL had his official combine check-in measurements.

It seems kind of silly to say that two inches make a difference. But I think it does when you consider all the gigantic WRs out there.

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RCPackerFan's picture

February 24, 2015 at 08:55 am

I changed my opinion last year of Calvin Pryor with his measurement's. I remember before the combine he was being listed as 6'3 and ended up being 5'11.

Those 2-4" do make a difference in how a player is viewed.

I don't think in Rollins case it will really hurt him much though.

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Evan's picture

February 24, 2015 at 09:04 am

Either that or I'm just an idiot and was looking at Jalen Collins' page.

I could be convinced either way.

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HankScorpio's picture

February 23, 2015 at 04:25 pm

Goodson was a 5th rounder, not a day 1 or 2 pick. That's a pretty big difference. A day 1 or 2 pick is a pretty steep price for a guy that played football for one year, IMO.

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RCPackerFan's picture

February 24, 2015 at 07:06 am

Watch the Senior Bowl. He was very impressive.

I wouldn't doubt at all if he ended up being a 1st round pick. I would think he would be a 2nd round pick at worst.

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HankScorpio's picture

February 24, 2015 at 08:20 am

I don't know where he will get selected but if it happens in rounds 1 or 2, I would be perfectly content if a team other than the Packers was making the pick. Let someone else tackle the project of making him a polished NFL CB for the price of a premium pick.

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phillythedane's picture

February 24, 2015 at 08:39 am

Really good point, Hank. There is a reason Shields was an undrafted free agent, for the same reasons he is now a top-tier corner.

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RCPackerFan's picture

February 24, 2015 at 08:59 am

I get that feeling. Really do. I am a bit skeptical of drafting him high as well... just based on only having 1 year of experience.

But, great players are great players. Ziggy Ansah was a top 5 pick and only played football for a few years.

Right now Rollins is listed as the 31st overall player on CBSsports.com. If he is the best player on the board, I have no problem taking him.

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RCPackerFan's picture

February 24, 2015 at 10:08 am

Yeah, i agree with that. And I'm not trying to compare the players or anything. Just saying that a player can be worth a higher pick even if he has less experience.

Yeah, Rollins 40 time doesn't help him any. We will have to see what his pro day results are, but at 4.57 I would think he would be more of a 2nd round pick as well.

He is a player that you really don't want to be wrong on. If you don't draft him and he becomes a pro bowl caliber of player, that kills you. But if you draft him and he doesn't develop like you thought he would, then its a wasted pick.

He has flashed some really great ability. Thats what makes him very intriguing.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 24, 2015 at 12:32 am

Don't know this prospect. It sounds like he has safety size and speed.

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Zola Davis's picture

February 24, 2015 at 02:32 pm

Why isn't anyone talking about 2nd or 3rd tier QB's. Is there a site that summarizes all the measurable from the combine?

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Zola Davis's picture

February 24, 2015 at 02:35 pm

disregard. found the site. I guess we're just not done talking about the front 7

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