New Orleans Saints fans would love to see an LSU player drafted this year by the Black and Gold, and the Tigers’ Jalen Collins happens to be an intriguing cornerback — a position in need of some touching up.
The Olive Branch, MS native is quickly rising up draft boards due to his rare combination of height, weight and speed. The next step for the 6-foot-2, 198 pound corner is the NFL Scouting Combine, which is set to kick off with on-field workouts Friday, Feb. 20. Defensive back drills will be held Monday, Feb. 23.
Collins opted to forgo his final season of eligibility and enter the draft. The junior played in 39 games with ten starts at LSU, finishing his career with 90 tackles (three for loss), 17 pass breakups and three interceptions. His best season came in 2014 after starting seven games and tallying 38 tackles and a team-high nine passes defended.
His size is prototypical for the cornerback position while his speed and athleticism are far above average. Collins’ skill set gives him the ability to overcloud all types of receivers as well as chase down ball carriers. He possesses the ups and timing to high point the ball, which is why he excels against taller opponents.
Collins needs to improve in press coverage, which is often affected by sloppy feet and stiff hips, but that can develop with time. The former Tiger is more of a straight-line coverage guy, but can sometimes show fluid movements in change of direction, granting him the potential to drive towards throws and come away with the big play.
He is very inexperienced with only those ten starts under his belt and likely won’t be able to assume a starting role right away. However, with his outstanding length and athleticism, Collins can certainly develop into one sooner rather than later under good coaching.
With the scouting combine set to get underway and the draft soon to follow, the New Orleans Saints may want to give LSU’s Jalen Collins a gander or two — his future looks very bright in the NFL.
The Black and Gold will probably turn to free agency to do a bit of maintenance on the thin cornerback position, but the selection process also remains plausible. It’s time to find replacements for Patrick Robinson and Corey White.
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