AnalysisThis former five-star recruit from Louisiana is now this draft’s top rated safety. Collins is a terrific overall football player who possesses good size, strength, speed and instincts. He also shows a lot of versatility and can line up just about anywhere you need him. Collins excels near the box and is a good tackler. He’s good and sound in coverage. Collins recorded 190 tackles and five interceptions over his career.
Dave-Te' Thomas Player Evaluation
Instant Analysis from Scout's Jamie Newberg:
The Giants gave up a fourth and seventh round draft pick to move up seven spots to grab one of this draft’s top defensive back and safeties. This former five-star recruit from Louisiana is a terrific overall football player who possesses good size, strength, speed and instincts. He also shows a lot of versatility and can line up just about anywhere you need him. Collins excels near the box, is a good tackler and terrific on special teams. He’s good and sound in coverage but it’s certainly an area of his game that has to get better. Collins recorded 190 tackles and five interceptions over his career.
Report from NFL Scouting Services' Dave-Te' Thomas:
With the pro safety positions becoming increasingly interchangeable, Landon Collins is a nice fit for either position, as he is a physical tackler when attacking inside the box, but also has the backpedal skills and mirror ability to stay tight on the hip of receivers playing in the deep zone area. The field general’s range was evident, as he not only led the team in interceptions (three), but also paced the Tide with 103 tackles this season, becoming just the ninth defensive back to lead the team in tackles, as that total also set the school position record.
Collins is much better at initiating contact and working inside the box rather than staying back to defend the deep part of the secondary. With fifteen extra pounds on his frame prior to 2013, the former free safety posted 69 tackles with six pass break-ups and two thefts, returning one for a touchdown after moving into the starting lineup for the final nine games on the 2013 schedule.
Collins is very good at making his reads and reacting to the pre-snap movement. He looks instinctive and smart in both zone and man coverage. He is a quick reactor and it is very rare to see him get burned or caught out of position. He has valid instincts and makes plays because of his ability to instantly locate the ball, especially when working inside the box. You can see on game film his ease of movement when closing on the ball and his innate ability to quickly recognize the pass and use his hands with good force to knock the receiver off his route progression.
The Tide junior shows very good footwork, agility, balance and body control, staying low in his pads when coming up to make plays in front of him. He has valid speed and range to make plays at the opposite end of the field, evident by his major college-leading ten touchdown-saving tackles coming out of his area to make the tackle in 2014.
Collins looks very natural to turn and run, doing a nice job of cutting off the route. He has the quickness, flexibility and speed to play nickel and dime packages on the outside and easily stays tight on backs and tight ends in the short areas. He shows good footwork and balance throughout his pedal, along with the flexible hips to smoothly and easily work back for the ball on broken plays.
The safety has a thick upper body frame with good chest and arm muscle tone, tight waist and hips, thick thighs and calves and minimal body fat. Wherever the coaches want him to play, whatever scheme they need him to perform in, Collins is more than up to the task, having experience at both safety positions, in addition to excelling on special teams.
As a strong safety, he displays exceptional blocker awareness and because of that vision, he is able to slip through blocks to make plays in tight areas. He has a strong desire to fill the rush lanes, extending his arms properly to engulf the ball carriers. He keeps his shoulders square and stays low, driving with his legs to rock the ball carrier back at the line of scrimmage.
Collins is good at elevating to catch the ball in his hands and away from his body. He knows how to extend at the ball’s highest point and does a nice job of utilizing his above average leaping ability to get to the ball at its high point. He demonstrates body control flowing to the ball, taking no wasted steps when closing.
He has good angle technique to close the cushion, especially when asked to support vs. the outside run. While he does a good job of mirroring the receiver, he also shows very good intent to attack the ball. He gets good height competing for jump balls (35-inch vertical) and will not hesitate to go vertical in a crowd to get a piece of the ball.
Collins is an aggressive safety that shows above-average instincts for the position, as one of his best abilities is the quickness he displays finding the ball. He brings a physical presence to the field and looks to deliver knock-out blows at all times, but than can sometimes create problems, as he tends to miss some tackles from his aggressiveness.
Collins reads the quarterback's eyes and breaks on the ball well. He shows good urgency to close extremely fast after the catch and is quick to make the tackle. He possesses good overall range, as takes sound angles to the football when it's in the air. He demonstrates above-average recovery speed when he does get caught out of position.
The Tide junior shows the ability to rotate his hips and change directions quickly. While he can match up in some man coverage, those opportunities have been limited to covering tight ends and slot receivers. His hands are not natural (four of thirteen pass deflections looked like certain interceptions), but he does extend to catch outside the framework.
Collins is a downhill type who is considered to be very reliable in run support, especially when lining up in the box. He breaks down well and shows good technique when making the tackle. Still, there are times he gets too aggressive and can overrun the ball and with just average strength (16 reps in the 225-pound bench press), he needs to work on shedding blocks when working vs. bigger offensive linemen.
Landon Collins Scouting Combine measurables
6-0/228 (4.53 forty)
30 3/8-inch arm length
10 1/4-inch hands
35-inch vertical jump
120-inch broad jump
7.38 3 cone drill
4.33 20 yard shuttle
11.94 60 yard shuttle
Dave-Te’ Thomas is a sports writer, talent evaluator and scouting personnel consultant for a majority of teams in the National Football League. Thomas runs a scouting information service called NFL Scouting Services and produces THE NFL Draft Report, a publication provided by league headquarters to the media in preparation for the NFL Draft.
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