With their first sixth-round selection in the 2019 NFL draft, No. 185 overall, the Green Bay Packers selected Ka'dar Hollman, cornerback, Toledo.
Hollman’s journey is incredible, including a past job at a bread factory. His football career at the time was on hold, with Hollman waiting for a scholarship he’d yet to find. Poor SAT scores precluded him from receiving interest from college, Hollman said.
"Every day I would email my tape out to teams, to colleges, hoping I would hear something and every day I never heard anything back," Hollman said. "I would wonder to myself – dang, am I supposed to go D-1 in football?"
So he got a temp job that lasted two weeks, until Hollman found another gig loading and unloading trucks along the East Coast for Dunkin’ Donuts. Hollman never gave up hope, believing he could play Division I football.
He has a new job now: cornerback, Green Bay Packers.
FIFTH-ROUND BIO: Kingsley Keke, DL, Texas A&M
SIXTH-ROUND BIO: Dexter Williams, RB, Notre Dame
SEVENTH-ROUND BIO: Ty Summers, ILB, TCU
Hollman, who played the last four seasons at Toledo, is the second defensive back general manager Brian Gutekunst drafted this weekend. The Packers also traded up nine spots in the first round to select Maryland safety Darnell Savage Jr.
What the two have in common is speed. Clearly, that’s a focus of Gutekunst's regardless of the position. Hollman, a non-combine invite, ran a 4.37-second 40 at his pro day. He said interest “skyrocketed” after his pro day. At 6-0, 196 pounds, Hollman has size to play the perimeter.
He hasn’t shown much with his ball skills, intercepting just two passes in his career despite having 12 pass breakups in 2018, and will face a big adjustment to the NFL. But the Packers could use depth at cornerback, where Kevin King is entrenched as a starter but has struggled staying healthy. Joining King is Jaire Alexander, Tramon Williams and Josh Jackson, but the fifth cornerback job could be open.
The Packers have been inclined to give athletic corner prospects a chance to show what they can do. Hollman has the kind of athleticism that can be intriguing.
40 yard dash: 4.37
Two career interceptions.
· 2018 tied for first in MAC with 12 pass breakups.
· Two-year starter.
Ka’dar Hollman met the media via conference call. Here are some highlights:
On where he needs to grow most in his adjustment to the NFL:
“Just coming into the NFL, making sure I’m still working on my IQ every day. Just because you play fast, you want to slow the game down. I want to make sure I work on that and my ball skills, because I’m going to make sure I don’t leave no plays out on the field, so the defense can get off the field.”
On getting drafted:
“Getting picked by Green Bay in the sixth round, I had a rush of emotion go through me. 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 just thank the whole organization for giving me a chance.”
“While Hollman did not receive an invitation to the NFL Scouting Combine, the 6-foot, 190-pounder showed out well during his pro day testing earlier this month, with Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline relaying that the cornerback was clocked in the 40-yard dash as fast as 4.37 seconds while posting a 39-inch vertical jump. Per Pauline, the Giants, Titans, Texans and Dolphins all earlier met with Hollman around his pro day. A three-year starter at Toledo, Hollman will be crossing his fingers for a late Day 3 selection come April's draft.” - NJ Advance Media’s Mike Kaye.
“Hollman is a raw prospect, but he has the traits to compete for a spot in the NFL. He’s fast, agile and explosive while possessing solid size to work on the boundary or in the slot.” - Kevin Hickey, Coltswire.com