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Size and athleticism are Jalen Collins' strengths.
With the departures of cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, the Patriots secondary has some big shoes to fill. Despite the additions of Bradley Fletcher and Robert McClain, the secondary could use an influx of young talent in the draft. Even with young players like Logan Ryan and Malcolm Butler, adding another CB to the mix will likely bring out the best of each guy back there. Outside of Byron Jones, another top CB that I am intrigued by is LSU's redshirted junior Jalen Collins.

Jalen Collins is a guy that rounds out the top tier of CBs in this year's draft. Whereas Ifo Ekpre-Olomu had the experience of playing all four years, Collins has arguably the least experience out of the big name CBs in this year's draft. He started a mere 10 games in his career, despite playing in 48 over his three years at LSU. The selling point for Collins is his combination of size and athleticism, things that cannot be taught or coached.



Measurables:
Height: 6'1.5"
Weight: 203 lbs
Arm Length: 32 1/8”
Hand Size: 9 3/8"

Combine Results:
4.48 40 Yard Dash
36" Vertical
124" Broad Jump
6.77 3 Cone Drill - 2nd at the combine for CBs
4.27 20 Yard Shuttle
11.32 60 Yard Shuttle
*Ran these numbers with a stress fracture in his right foot

College Stats:
Three years: 90 tackles, 3 tackles for a loss, 3 interceptions, 19 passes defended



Professional Comparison:
Aqib Talib - Similar athletic ability and size. Talib had much better ball skills, but in terms of their style of play and strengths/weaknesses I find them quite similar. Both are better at playing man coverage once the WR has made his first move. Initial quickness lacks in both players and shiftier WRs can take advantage of their slower feet. Both aren't as physical as they should be at the line of scrimmage.

Strengths: 
Won't get beat deep often, if at all. Straightline speed is good. He is a good tackler for a CB. Knows how to break down and form tackle. He is very willing to take on blockers head on and get physical. Has decent field vision. Will contest jump balls. Takes every catch against him personally. Improved as the season went on and as he gained confidence/experience.

At 2:04-2:14 - Shows his tackling ability.
At 3:07-3:14 - Takes on block, sheds man, and makes the play.
At 4:06-4:18 - Chases down likely 1st round pick RB Melvin Gordon.



At 1:57-2:02 - Able to turn his hips, keep eyes on the QB, and break up the pass.



Weaknesses: 
Gets bouncy with his feet when a WR makes a move. For whatever reason he refuses to make contact with receivers at the line of scrimmage. Often stands up when going into backpedal. Not a quick accelerator. Smaller, quicker WRs will feast on him if asked to man up on them. Hips and footwork can be improved. Likely will drop as many INTs as he does catch them.

At 3:19-3:48 - Two plays that show a lack of situational awareness and poor ball tracking.



At 0:48-1:01 - Can get sucked in with play action.



At 0:36-0:58 - His hands are questionable, at best.



Projections:
Late 1st or early to mid 2nd round. One aspect that may allow him to slip to pick 32 or beyond is the fact that he had foot surgery on March 19th. While he is expected to be ready by minicamp in May, teams always put a bit too much focus on injuries, especially in the 1st round, wanting to get a sure fire guy. The Patriots have fought against that, showing that they value players regardless of injury (Last year with Dominique Easley). If other top CBs slip, teams may feel comfortable filling other needs, pushing back the 2nd tier CBs.

Will the Patriots draft him?
In the first round? Probably not. He has his flaws, is extremely raw, and they have yet to show any real interest in him. I know that doesn't mean they aren't interested in him, but in comparison to other top CB options, he doesn't seem high on their list. Should he be there in the middle to late 2nd round, they could very well trade up and draft him if other top options are already taken, but at this point there are much better values that could be available at 32.

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Adam Bogdan 4/15/2015 06:01:00 PM Edit
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