NEPD Editor: James Christensen
With the 52nd pick, acquired by trade from the Minnesota Vikings, the Patriots have selected Jamie Collins – defensive end / outside linebacker from Southern Miss.
Jamie Collins has incredible athleticism. At 6’3″ and 250 pounds, Collins ran a 4.6 forty and jumped over 41″ on the vertical leap. He was my #48 overall prospect and #6 outside linebacker.
This is what we said in our scouting report on Collins:
His Combine performance dropped jaws. Collins bulked up to 6’3” and 250 pounds with the shredded physique of a professional wrestler. He ranked at or near the top in just about every drill, which sent teams clamoring for more information. Here’s what they’ll find: Collins has an explosive first step and excellent closing burst.
There is real pop to his hits and he is an excellent tackler that plays every down with equal intensity. The pass rush repertoire is more limited than many in this draft, but the athletic potential is off the charts. I talked to a position coach who interviewed Collins at the Combine and he advised me that Collins aced the interview, showing quick understanding of schemes and a strong football IQ.
Collins best projects to the NFL as a 3-4 OLB even though he played as an undersized end almost exclusively at USM. His on-field résumé says 45-64 overall range, but the athletic prowess could push Collins into the top 35, even the late portion of the first round.
Collins started as a quarterback and was moved to safety before ending up as a “Bandit” for Southern Miss – a hybrid defensive end and outside linebacker role.
I like Collins’ ability to move around pre-snap, find the holes to exploit and knife his way into the backfield and make splash plays.
If I’m Bill Belichick, I start playing Collins on third down and let him become a complement to Chandler Jones down the road. Let Jones play on the strong side and have Collins just “wreck house” on the weak side.
One could think of Collins as a future replacement for Rob Ninkovich as well.
Last year, Collins totaled 10 sacks and 20 tackles for loss. Collins did that while being the focus of nearly every offense. No other teammate on Southern Miss recorder over 2.5 sacks or 9.5 tackles for loss. Collins also had 6.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss in 2011.
The Patriots will be on the clock again with the 59th pick.