Former basketball star could be draft option for Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers made one of their best draft picks in franchise history in 2004 with the 11th overall pick when they selected a big, talented quarterback by the name of Ben Roethlisberger.

Might the Steelers’ need to upgrade at cornerback lead them back to Miami of Ohio?

There might not be a more intriguing prospect in the 2015 draft than Quinten Rollins, who starred four seasons for the Red Hawks and then started playing football at Miami.

In basketball, Rollins started four seasons as a point guard and finished second in school history in steals (214) and fourth in assists (391). With a year of eligibility remaining to play another sport, Rollins moved over to the football team.

And all the 6-foot, 203-pound Rollins did was intercept seven passes, third-most among FBS players, and win Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors. He opened eyes at the Senior Bowl last week with a diving interception in the all-star game that is a showcase for NFL prospects.

ESPN NFL analyst Matt Williamson is a fan of Rollins and said the latter could move into the first round of the draft if he performs well in the pre-draft process.

The key, Williamson said, is Rollins running well at the NFL Scouting Combine next month, as the biggest question about him is his straight-line speed. But Williamson, a former NFL scout, loves Rollins’ quickness, athleticism and size and said he is physical enough to play free safety at the next level.

What intrigues Williamson most about Rollins is his upside, and he will be among those jockeying for position behind Michigan State’s Trae Waynes and Florida State’s P.J. Williams, who are widely considered the top two cornerbacks in the draft.

“There were times at the Senior Bowl when people ran by him, but part of that’s recognition, too, and not learning about double moves and things like that yet,” Williamson said of Rollins. “But he goes up and plays the ball really well, like you would think a basketball player would.”