By Jay Skurski
School: Southern Miss
Measurables: 6-foot-3, 250 pounds
40 time: 4.64 seconds. 225-pound bench press: 19 reps. Vertical jump: 41.5 inches. Broad jump: 11 feet, 7 inches. 3-cone drill: 7.10 seconds.
2012 stats: 92 tackles, 20 for loss, 10 sacks, four forced fumbles
Draft projection: Second round
Lowdown: Collins was a combine star, producing the best vertical jump and broad jump of all linebackers, a position he switched to during his sophomore year from safety after an injury. Tremendously productive player in his junior and senior seasons, registering 190 tackles, including 39.5 for losses, 16.5 sacks and 13 pass break-ups over those two years. … Has an athletic frame similar to current Bills linebacker Manny Lawson. … Takes good, long strides to help him close in on quarterbacks. … With his speed, has the ability to stay with tight ends in coverage.
Does not have a great first step, and currently lacks the upper-body strength to be an every-down defensive end. … Does not always display great effort. … Can be slow to recognize his position in zone coverage.
Played quarterback in high school, leading his Franklin County (Miss.) team to a state championship as a sophomore. … Originally signed with Auburn, but decided to stay in-state after the Tigers went through a coaching change. … Made a pre-draft visit to the Bills on April 3. Seems to offer the versatility new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine craves.
They said it: “NFL personnel are trying to get a feel for Collins’ football instincts to get more comfortable with his playing up as a linebacker full time in the NFL. Most 3-4 teams that I have spoken to have no concerns in this area, but teams that play 4-3 schemes are trying to figure out if Collins is best as an under-sized defensive end or a linebacker, and if so which linebacker position.” Russ Lande, National Football Post.The Buffalo News is profiling 50 prospects in 50 days leading up to this month's NFL Draft.
tagged2013 draft | Road to the Draft