Scouting Report: Alex Collins, RB

If Collins declares for the draft, he could be just what the Patriots need in their backfield.

If Collins declares for the draft, he could be just what the Patriots need in their backfield.

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

I typically try not to scout underclassman before they declare for the draft, but I got into a discussion with another draftnik who’s opinion I respect a lot and he had asked if I had watched any of Collins tape yet and if not that I should.  Boy am I glad I did.  There is a lot to like when watching him and spoiler alert, this is the type of player I really want the Patriots to draft this year.  Here is what I saw when I watched several games of Alex Collins.

I was so excited that work was finally slowing down and I would be able to focus more on scouting that I went ahead and got so sick I basically didn’t move for a week.  I am on the mend now and am going to try and pump out a couple of these reports this week, so fasten your seat belts.  Bowl season is right around the corner, then the Senior Bowl and before you know it the Combine will be here.  I have a lot of prospects to get through so lets not waste any more time.

Name: Alex Collins

School: Arkansas (Jr.)

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 216 Lbs.

2015 248 1392 5.6 80 17 13 95 7.3 31 0
2014 204 1100 5.4 84 12 3 9 3.0 5 0
2013 190 1026 5.4 55 4 11 63 5.7 30 0


When you can average 5.6 yards a carry in the SEC you are doing something right.  Collins runs with tenacity and power. He rarely goes down on first contact and keeps his legs moving to fall forward and gain that extra yard or two.  He runs with good patients and vision.  Collins will wait for the play to develop and then shows good lower body explosion and balance to burst through the hole.  On many occasions he will ride the back of his offensive lineman to maximize every yard possible on that particular play.  He does not have elite speed but showed enough to break off some longer runs.  What I like about Collins is that he is not looking to bounce everything outside to get that home run play. He excels at running between the tackles and can wear a defense down to eventually break a big play.  From all accounts, he has been an excellent locker room presence and no issues off the field as well.  I also really like that Collins was able to step up and be a guy the team could count on after Arkansas other talented Running Back got hurt in the preseason.


One thing that I noticed when watching Collins was his footwork. He is not really a dancer in the backfield, but he takes a lot of small choppy steps that seem unnecessary and inefficient.  This happens even when he gets to the second level. He is still moving forward and it certainly has not hurt his production, I just feel like he could clean up his footwork a little.  Another area Collins could look to improve would be as a pass catcher. As you can see from the stats above he is not a huge threat coming out of the backfield as a pass catcher.  If he wants to stay on the field for all three downs, his route running and hands must get better.  His pass protection will have to improve as well.  The effort seems to be there, but his technique is hit or miss and that must be cleaned up.  Collins has some ball security issues, but not so bad that it is a huge concern for me, but we know the fastest way into any coaches doghouse is to put the ball on the ground.


I really like Collins as a runner and as a fit for the Patriots.  He may not be as flashy as some of backs coming out, but he is a tough, smart, downhill runner that has maximized his opportunities.  He may never be a home run hitter or break any defenders ankles with his moves, but Collins should have a long, productive career in the NFL.  Like I said before, he seems like a perfect fit for the Patriots with the way they use a committee in the backfield.  Guys like Henry and Elliot will be drafted well before Collins, but I see nothing to say that Collins could not be as productive as those 2 backs at the next level.  Collins is for sure a top 100 player for me and if the Patriots want him, they may have to either trade back with their 2nd round pick or trade up with their 3rd.







23 Responses to “Scouting Report: Alex Collins, RB”

  1. Jeff says:

    Well that was certainly an odd turn of events with the coin toss, but as long as they can win next week and get Edelman, Amendola, McCourty, and Chung back and ready to go in time for the playoffs, they’ll still be primed for a Superbowl run. They should be pretty solid at all positions besides O-line, which they’ll have to cover for like they did early in the season with a quick passing game. Playoff victories will be tougher with all the injuries, but still very attainable.

  2. J H TARBORO says:

    To Mike Gerken
    Thank you for info and education about Louisiana Tech’s RB Kenneth Dixson, he wasn’t on the radar at all. I recently watched the New Orleans Bowl and i can honestly say Dixson is Truth. He reminds me of David Johnson rookie from N.Iowa who plays for the Cardinals.
    Guys don’t sleep on this kid come draft time.

  3. Ryan says:

    Seeing Trumaine Johnson (Rams) get snubbed for the Pro Bowl makes me think back to the 2012 draft, specifically the 2nd round. While all of the safeties may have sucked after Wilson, Johnson would’ve been a much more reasonable pick at #48 as a big cornerback who could be converted to safety if need be. I was disappointed then and I’m disappointed now, because Trumaine Johnson seemed like a sure thing and the Pats let him go.

    Well, Pro Bowl or not, it’s fun to look back and think about how things could’ve been different. I’m hoping for a mix of guards, offensive tackles, running backs, and tall cornerbacks and wide receivers in the 2016 draft. Maybe even a true strong safety this year, but probably not.

  4. Dan Sullivan says:

    Patriots have a lot of injuries but the additions of LeAdrian White, Leonard Johnson,
    Asante Cleveland, Steven Jackson and Montee Ball will give the Patriots enough in
    playoffs. I think Le Adrian White will be the most important addition.

    Mock Draft
    2 CJ Prosise RB ND
    3 Compensatory (Revis) Chris Jones DT Mississippi St.
    3 Pearce Slater OT San Diego St.
    4 Braxton Deever TE Duke
    6 Compensatory (Vereen) Bralon Addison WR Oregon
    6 Mallett Deal Tajae Sharpe WR Massachusetts
    7 Connor Wujciak DT BC
    7 Compensatory (Ayers) Greg Townsend Jr. DE USC
    7 Compensatory (Casillas) Clint Van Horn OT Marshall

    Patriots keep the momentum don’t let up against Jets.
    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.

    • Jeff says:

      I’m starting to like the idea of a running back in the second round for the Pats if the right guy is available. I had been hoping for O-line help, but when looking at the RB position, you have Lewis, White, and Bolden as probable locks for next year. You have more depth on the offensive line than you do at running back though, so you can probably hope for some rookie improvement and the return of Solder to make the O-Line work, whereas you’ll have to sign a free agent to keep the running back position working for you unless you can really get a quality RB through the draft. It would also be good to reduce the workload on Lewis for next year so as to hopefully keep him healthy for the next couple of seasons that you have him under contract.

      I think Bill is happy with Butler and Ryan as starters, so a CB in the 4th round range might be enough to give some depth. I think your third rounders will be attempts to replace Mayo and Amendola, who I see getting cut for cap purposes this off-season.

  5. J H TARBORO says:

    I knew Joey Losefa could make an impact in the ground game, but because of the Stephen Jackson signing, i hope the Patriots don’t put this kid on moth balls or back to the practice squad. Losefa can become the “guy” given the carries and opportunity.

  6. Dan says:

    Patience not patients. One is showing restraint the other is a person at the doctor. Sorry not normally a grammar Nazi, but you make this mistake with all of your articles. Other than that a great article. However I agree with most of the comments here. Power back is not a priority this early in the draft.

    • Mike says:

      Thank you for your patience with my spelling of patients. 😉
      I can’t believe I have never caught that before. I am working on another article right now and I need to go back and see if I did it in that one.

  7. J H TARBORO says:

    There’s a total of 3 RBs on our practice squad now.
    RB/FB Joey Losefa 6’0 245lbs
    RB Trey Williams 5’8 195
    RB Montee Ball 5’10 215

  8. Ryan says:

    Montee Ball is officially on the practice squad! Quality pickup by Belicheck for sure. Ball ildeserves a second chance, even though he might make nothing of it.

  9. Mike Gerken says:

    A lot of great comments on here already. I have never been a big fan of Blount. For a guy his size I hate his running style. When he gets into a groove you can see his potential, but he does not play that way consistently. I am a believer in getting another bigger back. I wrote in my previous report that I think we could see the Patriots double up at RB again this year. Lewis will be coming back from another major injury and the team has some hesitation with White so bringing in a bigger back and a pass catching/change of pace type is plausible.

    • Ryan says:

      Yeah, Blount probably needs to go. He’s way too streaky and I hate him about 75% of the time as a runner, but he does bring something to the team and is dynamic in fits and starts. We need to replace him before cutting him because a big runner is necessary for the offense to have any balance at all.

    • Russell says:

      I agree with Mike about the Patriots drafting TWO RB’s , however not early in the Draft.
      I also think Coach Belichick would rather have a senior , instead of an under classman.
      I like RB Travis green 5’10” 195 lbs 4.52 40yd. , and RB Keith Marshall 5’11 212lbs. 4.46 40yd. Both are 6th rounder’s, maybe 7th. Marshall was lightly used in College because of, RB’s Gurley/Chub at Georgia and a knee injury.

  10. Jeff says:

    I can’t see the Pats taking a running back who isn’t a solid pass catcher in the second, and even in the third I’d think they’d like to see some pass-catching ability. I only see a back like this getting targeted by the Pats if he falls to the fourth round. Blount is a good hard runner, still picking up chunks of yards after contact, so why not dedicate your draft picks elsewhere and bring him back on the cheap if you’re getting a one-dimensional back anyways? The Pats will likely need to replace Mayo and Amendola and boost the O-line, and without a first-rounder, those 2nd and 3rd round picks will be very important.

    • Ryan says:

      Doubt the Pats go RB in the second. They’ve got to draft the next Jordan Richards there.

      All kidding aside, I see offensive line and cornerback as bigger needs.

      • Jeff says:

        Agreed, I think the best case scenario would be an offensive tackle who can play guard as well. Could upgrade the interior O-line in 2016 and give you a chance to evaluate whether the guy can move outside to take over the right tackle spot as Vollmer and Cannon enter contract years.

  11. J H TARBORO says:

    Sorry to see Blount going down to injury, but this might be a blessing for the Patriots. On the Pats practice squad sits Joey Losefa 6’0 245lbs. FB/RB that runs with a little more violence than Blount and hits the hole faster. Get him going now and give him 15-20 touches and i guarantee that LBs, CBs, and S will get trucked on his way to the zone.

    • Ryan says:

      Only problem is that he’s cut if he fumbles. Blount also seemed to be picking up steam and had some confidence back, so it’s a real shame. White isn’t ready to be a feature-back and I kind of doubt Losefa’s ability to go from the PS to the starting lineup.

  12. J H TARBORO says:

    Mike, well put together article. I really like this kid a lot, and respect his running style. I here that he has a great work ethic and solid hands.

    • J H TARBORO says:

      They’re 2 RBs that could be a good and natural fit for the Patriots. 1) Alex Collins Arkansas 2) C.j. Prosise 6’1 220 Notre Dame and we need a functional FB, meaning not just a blocker, but runner and catcher as well.

      • Ryan says:

        Do we really need another back who can catch passes? I mean, it can’t hurt, but I think that a big guy who can run hard and block well should be enough with Dion Lewis and James White in our arsenal. In my opinion, any big back who can do those two things should be in play.

        • J H TARBORO says:

          Dion Lewis is back next year, but because of his injury and it’s not his first major injury, he may not be the same. You always have to prepare for the worse.

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