Colt Scout: New TE Jerome Collins

The Colts signed former Rams fifth-round draft pick Jerome Collins to the roster on Wednesday. Indianapolis plucked the former Notre Dame player from the Cowboys' practice squad to help address depth problems at the tight end position. Jerry Langton tells you how he fits with the Colts.

Jerome Collins
TE, Notre Dame

Numbers:
6'4 (6042)/ 267 pounds/ 4.62 forty-speed

2006 preseason stats: 2-56-1 with St. Louis

2005 stats: none

The player: He certainly looks the part. If you ran into Collins on the street, you'd be pretty sure he was a football player, but you might be hard-pressed to guess what position he plays. Welcome to the club. In high school, he player wide receiver, tight end, running back, outside linebacker, kick returner, punt returner on the football field and power forward for the basketball team. And he ran track. At Notre Dame he shifted from wide receiver to outside linebacker to defensive end to, for his senior year, tight end. Drafted in the fifth round in 2005 by the St. Louis Rams, they projected him as a tight end, but also had him practice at fullback and H-back. Confused? I'm sure Collins is too. He didn't exactly set the world on fire at any position (catching 6-67-0 as a senior), but he's a heck of an athlete. After a stunning Combine, the Rams traded up to draft him in 2005, but he didn't really see the field as a rookie. He looked pretty good in preseason, but was beaten out by rookies Joe Klopfenstein and Dominique Byrd, as well as promising ex-49er Aaron Walker. From what I've seen of him in college and preseason, Collins is an outstanding athlete with natural hands and strength. He sees the field well and can lay a devastating hit as a blocker, especially when he's moving. Very fast for a tight end and blessed with better-than-normal elusiveness, if Collins catches one behind the safeties, it's six. He's also got good potential as a special-teams player with solid tackling ability and surprising speed -- and he can even return kicks or punts in a pinch. While all that means he could develop into a big-time player, he certainly hasn't yet. His knowledge of offensive rhythms and how to beat zones is rudimentary at best, and the little parts of the game — like cutting off his route to help a quarterback in trouble or snapping inside to nullify an inside blitz — seem to elude him entirely.

How he fits: He's big, he's fast, he can catch and he can block. With the Colts fullback-less and suddenly tight end-poor, that almost guarantees him a chance. He'll be eased in slowly, but if he shows any signs of the light being turned on (or even screwed in), they'll keep working him. Remember, this is the team that made Marcus Pollard a star.

Reminds me of: Ironically, Aaron Walker, the guy who beat him out in St. Louis. Both are big, talented guys who are tantalizingly close to being big-time players.


(AP Photo/Ed Zurga)


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