NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken
I have a huge problem. This weekend the family and I made the 4 hour trip back to Iowa to watch the Iowa State Cyclones basketball team destroy Texas Tech and oh yeah, to visit friends and family as well. It was fun, but the whole time I kept thinking to myself how I kind of wished I was back home watching film. Fast forward to now (3:30 am Monday morning) and here I am watching tape and writing up this report. Hopefully my blood shot eyes and bad attitude about not being able to sleep did not skew my opinion of today’s report on Jalen Collins.
Name: Jalen Collins
School: LSU (Jr.)
Weight: 198 Lbs.
From a height, weight, and length perspective, Collins is as close to perfect as it gets for a cornerback. He has fluid hips and quick feet as well as long speed to stick with receivers on deep routes. He uses his height and length to his advantage when playing jump balls. Collins shows good change of direction skills and recovery speed as well. He plays with confidence and expects to make the play on every snap. From all reports, he is a very hard worker on the field and does a lot of charity work off the field.
Collins only has ten career starts, so he is raw from a technique standpoint. He struggles with quicker receivers and can be fooled by good route runners and must improve his footwork. Collins can lose track of where the ball is and needs to learn to get his head around quicker. He likes to line up in press man coverage but rarely gets his hands on the receiver to try and disrupt their route. Collins is inconsistent as a tackler and at times looks very uninterested in coming up to make a tackle in the run game.
I can see the intrigue with Collins. He has all the physical attributes teams covet from a corner and he has the potential to be a #1 corner in the NFL. What frustrated me the most watching him was his lack of physicality. He has got to learn to use his size to his advantage especially at the line of scrimmage. Ideally he would get drafted by a team where he would not be asked to start right away, rather he could have time to learn and develop . From the tape, I give Collins a mid/late second round grade but I could see a team taking him as high as the late first based purely on his physical traits and upside.
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