There will be a lot of eyes on Patriots rookie Jamie Collins this year, as he was the Patriots first selection in the draft. He hopes to live up to his reputation as a man with a nose for the ball and a knack for causing turnovers. According to an article by Boston Herald Patriot's writer Jeff Howe, Collins has already been reeking havoc on the offensive units at camp- a continuation of his college play:
The Patriots linebacker has notched at least three forced fumbles and one interception during the first two weeks of training camp, and it doesn't seem to be a fluky occurrence, either. Collins racked up three interceptions, seven forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and three defensive touchdowns to go along with 21 sacks in four collegiate seasons.
Collins is an exciting player. A former defensive back, his versatility is the attribute that primarily drew the team to him in the draft. He is an athlete with the potential to serve in a number of roles on the team's defense, and should be a nice addition to the existing line backing core, alongside Brandon Spikes, Dont'a Hightower, and veteran Jerrod Mayo.
While that group was solid last year overall, their strength lies in stuffing the run. They struggled immensely in coverage (especially Spikes), which put even more of a burden on the troubled secondary. Collins has the speed and athleticism to serve as a coverage linebacker. Whether or not he can pick up on complex NFL schemes is the part that is yet to be seen.
We will be able to get our first glimpse of Collins in action tomorrow night. Don't be surprised if you see him with the ball in his hands.