The NFL Draft is an exciting event for all football fans. Countless hours are spent watching the event, as many of them remain glued to their TVs as they watch their favorite teams select the next class of college football players to play in the NFL. With so much talent within this draft class, many players classified as likeable first round draft picks fell to later rounds. One player in particular the Giants traded up for in the second round that could be regarded as the biggest steal of the draft is former Alabama saftey, Landon Collins.
Earlier in his career, Collins attended Dutchtown High School where he was a two-sport star in football and track. In football, he was an All-American defensive back. As a sophomore, he had 26 tackles with 1.5 sacks, one interception and one fumble recovery, while playing alongside senior Eric Reid. Replacing Reid, Collins accounted for 102 tackles with 12 tackles for loss and four interceptions as a junior, earning an 5A All-State selection by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. As a senior, Collins excelled on both sides of the ball. On offense, he rushed for 1,218 yards and 21 touchdowns while averaging 13.7 yards per carry. Meanwhile, in the defensive backfield, he had 34 tackles with four interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns. Collins became the first player in LSWA history to earn 5A All-State honors on both sides of the ball.] For his individual achievements, Collins earned All-American honors by Parade and USA Today. He also starred in the 2012 Under Armour All-America Game, recording an interception and keying a goal-line stand.
Regarded as a five-star recruit by both Rivals.com and Scout.com, Collins was ranked as the No. 2 safety prospect in his class. Recruited by nearly every major school, Collins narrowed his choice down to Alabama and LSU. He announced his decision live at the Under Armour All-America Game, choosing the Crimson Tide.
As a true freshman at Alabama, Collins contributed as a backup. He started on the kickoff and punt coverage units on and saw reserve action at safety in all 14 season games, recording 17 tackles and blocking a punt. He tied for the team lead with 10 special teams tackles, including nine on kickoff coverage and one on punt coverage. He became a starter his sophomore season in 2013 after Vinnie Sunseri suffered a season ending injury. He finished the year with 70 tackles and two interceptions. As a junior he led the team with 98 tackles and three interceptions, and he was named an unanimous All-American.
Standing at 6 ft. tall and weighing in at 228lbs, Collins is compared to NFL safety Kam Chancellor. He has all the physical tools to “lay-out” wide-receivers and become a ball-hawk safety. With the departure of Antrel Rolle to the Chicago Bears, Collins will be able to step in and contribute right away for Big Blue’s defense. I have huge expectations for Landon Collins and I am confident he will become a Pro-Bowl safety.