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Landon Collins, the junior safety for the Alabama Crimson Tide, enters the 2015 NFL Daft after a 2014 season that resulted in consensus All-American recognition. He was selected as a First Team All-SEC defender as well. In 2013, Collins was named Second Team All-SEC. Collins was a five-star recruit coming out of high school and was considered the No. 2 safety prospect in his recruiting class. In 2014, Collins totaled 98 tackles, 3.5 TFL and 3 INT. For his career, he tallied 167 tackles, 7.5 TFL and 5 INTs for the Crimson Tide. Physically, Collins is a strong and sturdy 6’0″, 222 lbs. He’s a muscular guy who is equally proportioned through his upper and lower half. Athletically, Collins has very good straight-line speed and adequate agility; He’s a tad tight in the hips. Collins’ athleticism is showcased when asked to blitz, as he explodes into the backfield before a lineman or running back has a chance to react; He has very good short-area quickness and burst. Collins plays the safety position with very good run instincts, showing the ability to identify the play’s aiming point and fill in a hurry. He’s a reliable tackler even when he’s not in the ideal tackling position; His natural athletic ability allows for him to dive/reach/grab and still bring the runner down to the ground. When he does get himself into proper tackling position, he packs a nice jolt behind his pads and through his hips. In the passing game, Collins has a knack for making plays but his instincts leave a bit to be desired. He’s a tick too slow in reacting to the long ball, causing the cornerback to be in a vulnerable position. He’s more likely to be a clean-up hitter after the catch than he will be a guy who can consistently make a play on the ball. When the pass play develops in front of him, Collins does a nice job reacting and closing on the receiver. He has reliable hands to complete an interception as well as a strong and intimidating presence to jar the ball free from the receiver.
BOTTOM LINE: Landon Collins is a starting-quality prospect who will bring a strong and intimidating presence to the secondary. He’s athletic, strong and instinctual in the run game and he possesses enough ability versus the pass to feel comfortable with him playing very early in his career (likely a day one starter). While it’s possible that Collins will be vulnerable to the deep ball from time to time, he brings enough talent to the run and intermediate pass defense to justify an early pick.
GRADE: 8.2 (First Round)
-Submitted by Bryan Perez (@FirstRoundGrade)