Ranking the Packers (No. 51): Ka’dar Hollman
GREEN BAY, Wis. – In a tradition that stretches more than a decade, here is our annual ranking of the 90 players on the Green Bay Packers’ roster. This isn’t merely a look at the best players. Rather, it’s a formula that combines talent, salary, importance of the position, depth at the position and, for young players, draft positioning. More than the ranking, we hope you learn a little something about every player on the roster.
No. 51: CB Ka’dar Hollman (6-0, 196, second year, Toledo)
A sixth-round pick last year, Hollman’s rookie season was essentially the equivalent of a college football redshirt. While defensive coordinator Mike Pettine raved about him during the offseason practices and he took some first-team reps early in training camp when Kevin King got the day off, he was all but forgotten after a strong preseason. Hollman played four snaps on defense and 33 snaps on special teams. He was inactive in 12 regular-season games and both playoff games and didn’t contribute anything statistically.
“He’s a scrappy, strong individual. He wants to get up there and fight with these receivers, and that’s a great thing in this league because that’s what coaches want to see,” veteran cornerback Tramon Williams observed last summer. “They want to see you get in the guy’s face and knock the receivers off their routes and challenge these guys, not give up easy completions. That’s the things coaches like and that’s the things that they teach. That’ll definitely get him in the league and he’ll be in for a long time doing those types of things.”
Hollman literally wrote his own draft story. Hollman worked at a bread factor, loaded Dunkin Donuts trucks and cut meat at a deli, all while writing letters to college coaches all across the nation for a chance to play for their school.
“Those jobs right there just made me more motivated because those are jobs I didn’t want to do my whole life,” Hollman said. “There were people I was working with telling me how they’ve been working there for 30 years, and I’m like, this is not something I want to do when I get older. They just gave me more motivation and drive to get to where I want to be at.”
Finally, a coach from Toledo answered. A zero-star recruit, Hollman became a three-year starter. As a senior, he tied for the MAC lead with 12 breakups while recording one interception. He was not invited to the Scouting Combine but ran his 40 in a blistering 4.36 at Toledo’s pro day. The combination of production and athleticism made him a sixth-round pick. He had an excellent preseason. According to Pro Football Focus, he allowed 6-of-13 passing and had an interception vs. Houston.
“Being picked by Green Bay, I had a rush of emotion go through me,” he said. “I just felt like all my hard work and everything I’ve been through went through me all at once. It was tons of emotion, tons of emotion, because of how hard I worked just to get here. I thank the whole organization for giving me a chance.”
Why he’s got a chance: The Packers don’t have a lot of depth at cornerback beyond starters Jaire Alexander and King. Williams remains unsigned, former second-round pick Josh Jackson barely played last year and nobody was drafted, making Chandon Sullivan the favorite to be the No. 3 corner – which essentially is a starting position. At this point, Hollman has as good a chance as anyone to be the next man up behind those three.
“I just think there’s times where he’s had practices where you have to really go back and look to see if a ball even got caught on him,” Pettine said last year. “He’s been up essentially with the ones and the twos most of the time, so it’s not like he’s been kicking butt in the JV game and feeling good about it. He’s been up against some of our better guys and more than held his own.”