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Ranking the Roster: Nos. 65-67 – Cornerback Challengers

Ka'dar Hollman, Kabion Ento and Stanford Samuels will vie for a spot on the Green Bay Packers roster at cornerback.
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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 ahead of the start of training camp on July 27. 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. 65: CB Ka’dar Hollman (6-0, 196; 26; third year; Toledo)

A sixth-round pick in 2019, Hollman literally wrote his own NFL story. Hollman worked at a bread factory, loaded Dunkin Donuts trucks and cut meat at a deli, all while writing letters to 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 after being drafted. “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. However, his combination of size, speed (4.36 before the 2019 draft) and production (MAC-leading 12 passes defensed as a senior) hasn’t added up to NFL success. He played in 14 games with one start last season – he had two breakups off the bench against Atlanta – but was a healthy scratch for both playoff games. With the additions of Eric Stokes and Shemar Jean-Charles in this year’s draft, this will be a now-or-never training camp for Hollman, who missed most of the offseason practices due to an undisclosed injury.

No. 66: CB Kabion Ento (6-1, 187; 25; second year; Colorado)

An undrafted free agent in 2019, Ento spend his rookie season on the practice squad and last season on injured reserve.

Ento played receiver at Colorado. A junior-college transfer, Ento caught eight passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns as a junior and 12 passes for 161 yards and zero touchdowns as a senior.

Receiver prospects with Ento’s size are a dime a dozen. Cornerback prospects with his size are highly coveted. So, after his senior season, he started his transition to defense. At Colorado’s pro day, Ento measured 6-foot-1 3/8, ran his 40 in 4.54 seconds and posted a 41.5-inch vertical. He went undrafted and had offers from about a dozen teams, some on offense and some on defense. He took Green Bay’s offer, figuring it was “better now than never” to return to cornerback. He earned all-state honors at corner at Dollarway High School in Pine Bluff, Ark.

“Sometimes, it’s frustrating when you know your foot wasn’t in the right place or you have bad eyes, but it’s all starting to come together,” he said in 2019. “I understand it’s going to come with repetition and repetition. I’ve got to continue to be patient, continue to love the game, continue to love the process, and then everything will start coming around.”

Ento made a handful of splash plays during his rookie training camp. If he can string more of those together, he’s got a real shot to make the 53-man roster.

“He was a wide receiver in college that we flipped and made into a corner, so there’s a little bit of a learning curve there but we liked the way he’s progressed. Thought he was having a good camp before he went down,” general manager Brian Gutekunst said at the end of training camp last summer.

No. 67: CB Stanford Samuels (6-1, 187; 22; first year; Florida State)

Samuels has the pedigree. He was a two-year starter at Florida State, where his father starred before embarking on a career in the CFL. He recorded eight interceptions in three seasons, including four as a sophomore in 2018.

“I try to model my game after Florida State great Jalen Ramsey. I see a lot of things he does that are similar to my game,” Samuels said at the 2020 Scouting Combine. “I feel like his aggression, the way he goes about every play, he is on a mission. He will impose his will on his opponents. That is something I want to implement into my game. Some of the techniques, with us being similar in size, there is nothing but positive what I can get from his game, That’s why I use him as an example.”

The Combine was disastrous, though. His draft stock sank like a rock following a 4.65 40-yard dash. After going undrafted, the Packers signed him with a $7,000 bonus.

Samuels failed to make the roster and spent most of the season on the practice squad, logging 13 snaps on defense in two gameday elevations. Can experience and tenacity overcome his lack of speed?

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