Nov 23, 2013; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers cornerback Jalen Collins (32) raises his arm to the crowd prior to kickoff against the Texas A&M Aggies at Tiger Stadium. LSU defeated Texas A&M 34-10. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports
Coach Les Miles‘ and his LSU Tigers football team kicked off their pro day this morning in Baton Rough, LA with some highly intriguing incoming rookies displaying their talents in front of a boatload on NFL coaches and scouts.
Two guys notably in attendance for the New Orleans Saints were defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and secondary coach Wesley McGriff.
Jalen Collins, a top cornerback prospect in this year’s draft, did not participate in any drills Friday after recently having a screw inserted into his foot due to the start of a Jones fracture that was discovered at this year’s scouting combine.
However, Nick Underhill of the The New Orleans Advocate got a chance to catch up with Jalen Collins at pro day. “They (Saints) said they’re highly interested. Talked to McGriff, he said he likes big corners and he likes what he saw from the combine,” Collins said.
If the Saints did happen to draft him, that would give the team six cornerbacks over 6-foot-1. With a rare combination of size, length, speed and athleticism, Jalen Collins is your prototypical defensive back.
His 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, rangier 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 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.
He is very inexperienced with just 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, Jalen Collins can certainly develop into one sooner rather than later under the proper care of a solid coaching staff.
I’m sure New Orleans Saints fans would have no problem if the team decided to bring in an LSU Tiger — the kid’s got a bright future no matter where he goes.
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