Packers add to secondary, take CB Quentin Rollins
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) The secondary is the first priority in the NFL draft this year for the Green Bay Packers.
Another position of need on defense - inside linebacker - will have to wait at least another day.
Quentin Rollins is the latest defensive back to head to Titletown after the Packers took the cornerback from Miami (Ohio) in the second round of the NFL draft with the 62nd overall selection Friday.
Rollins was the Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He finished with 72 tackles and seven interceptions in 2014, his only year of college football at Miami.
He was the first of two selections for the Packers on Day 2 of the draft. In the third round, Green Bay took receiver and return man Ty Montgomery from Stanford.
Green Bay took defensive back Damarious Randall from Arizona State in the first round on Thursday night. He played safety in college but the Packers think his skills could translate well as a cornerback at the next level.
Rollins will join him in the secondary. Rollins did play four years of basketball, finishing his career second in school history with 214 career steals. He played football in high school.
Rollins thinks lateral quickness developed as a point guard helps in man-to-man coverage on the field, while the responsibility of seeing the whole floor helps with zone coverage.
''I think the overriding theme for our tenure here has been competition is great,'' said Brian Gutenkunst, the team's director of college scouting. ''I think anytime guys are challenged, you usually get the best out of them. So I think that's a positive.''
The back end of the defense has been replenished after Packers lost cornerbacks Tramon Williams (Browns) and Davon House (Jaguars). It was one of the Packers' biggest needs.
Sam Shields is the starter at one corner. Casey Hayward seems likely to fill the starting job held by Williams. Micah Hyde plays safety and corner.
''The best players will play. The next guys will sit there and work to get ready to play,'' cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt said. ''Are they going to play inside? Are they going to play outside? We'll let practice and all that figure that out.
Inside linebacker is another big need on the defense after Green Bay cut ties with veterans A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones in the offseason. But that position will have to wait until Friday - the Packers next pick in the fourth round with the 129th selection.
Sam Barrington, a seventh-round pick in 2013, passed Hawk and Jones on the depth chart and played well down the stretch. Pass rusher Clay Matthews played inside more in the second half of the season to help shore up the defense.
Typically guarded general manager Ted Thompson isn't divulging much about his plan at inside linebacker, other than that he was confident with the team's options.
Don't read the moves as signs that Matthews might play inside again, either.
''I don't know if it means that, no. I'm not the defensive coordinator,'' Thompson said.
Linebacker Carl Bradford, a fourth-round pick last year who didn't play in 2014, could also be an option on the inside.
Paul Dawson was available for the Packers in both the second and third rounds, but the Packers passed on the inside linebacker from TCU. Three other linebacker prospects - Miami's Denzel Perryman, UCLA's Eric Kendricks and Mississippi State's Benardrick McKinney - were taken earlier in the second round.
Montgomery was the 94th overall selection in the third round. He led the Cardinal last season with 61 catches for 604 yards. He also has five career special teams returns for touchdowns.
The senior missed two games last season with a shoulder injury.
Montgomery will join a crowd of receivers in Green Bay led by Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. The Packers also drafted three receivers last season, including second-rounder Davante Adams.