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One of the biggest stars of the Senior Bowl week was Miami of Ohio’s cornerback Quinten Rollins.  He stood out in drills and against the wide outs with his quickness, tenacity and raw ability.  I qrolldecided to watch three of his games against Northern Illinois, Ohio University, and Michigan to get a better feel of what he can do in game situations after watching him impress all week in Mobile.

CB Quinten Rollins, Miami of Ohio 6’ 203 lbs.

Cons: The defender is a former basketball player who decided to play cornerback.  He is very raw at his position and plays with a special reckless abandon that Troy Polamanu once had.  Rollins looks very awkward dropping back into coverage, because he doesn’t really back pedal.  Instead he turns his body around almost immediately, leaving him open to quick, comeback strikes. The corner needs to open up his stance more and show more fluidity.  Rollins takes a lot of bad angles on receivers, which he should be able to correct with more coaching and film study.

Pros (pass coverage): Rollins is an instinctive, athletic playmaker.  He does a good job jamming receivers when asked to press cover with powerful hand strikes and uses those mitts to disengage from block attempts quickly.  The corner is not as effective giving the receiver room off the line of scrimmage.  Rollins can get inside a receiver’s hip pocket and stick with them on deeper routes.  He does a good job reading the wide out’s eyes and body language to anticipate where the ball is in the air.  The defender is a solid punishing tackler who likes to knock passes out of receiver’s grasp at the last second.  By timing his jumps so well, the corner puts him in position to attack the ball in the air and come down with the interception.

The acrobatic playmaker changes directions quickly and can flow to wherever the ball is going.  Rollins uses his basketball background to tip the pigskin to himself and he is quite dangerous in the open field with the ball in his hands.  I think some team would be silly not to try him out as a returner with his ball hawking skills.

Pros (rushing the passer and run support): The defender is a solid run defender who steps up when the ball is flowing his way.  He gets low, keeps blockers away from his body, and sheds on his way to the ball. A play can be 30 yards down the field and Rollins will turn on the afterburners to thwart an offense’s scoring attempt.  His closing speed is fantastic.  The corner gets off the line quickly when rushing the passer and forces early ill-advised throws.  He is also a good gunner on special teams, cutting through blockers, and tackling the ball carrier in the open field.

Overall Thoughts: Rollins is a very raw defender, but can get away with sheer athleticism until he better understands the game.  He reminds me a bit of Kansas City’s Ron Parker, who is a cross between a safety and corner back as well.  I think his upside is considerably higher though.

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