Rant and Rave: Jalen Collins, CB-LSU

Jalen Collins pollCharles Davis in his 4th mock draft has Jalen Collins, the cornerback out of LSU going to the Packers. While Collins is likely to still be on the board, the question is – is he worth our first round pick? I think the answer to that question depends on whether you are looking for him to make an immediate impact or take a year or two to learn how to be good against the pros. It’s time to rant and rave…I will start with the raves:


There is no question that Collins has the measurables of a pro cornerback in the NFL. At 6’1″ and 203 pounds, Collins ran the best 3 cone drill of his position and clocked a 4.48 40 yard dash. Add to that a 36″ vertical jump and Jalen Collins looks like a prototypical NFL press corner that can force wider receivers up against the white lines and dare quarterbacks to try to throw over them.

So what’s not to like? Here are a few things…


As I mentioned earlier…while I think eventually Jalen Collins could be very good, I would in no way expect him to be a replacement for Tramon Williams in his first year. The reason? With only ten starts under his belt at LSU, Collins is NOT immediately ready for the pro game. This becomes abundantly clear when you break him down against pro-ready wide receiver Amari Cooper. Let’s take a look:

Jalen Collins 3

Look at where Jalen has his eyes…directly at Amari Cooper’s shoulder pads. This is a big mistake when you consider the age-old addage of football (and other sports as well) that “Shoulders lie but hips (or navel) tell the truth. Collins is beggin for the ole “shake and bake” here. Rant one is that Collins has undisciplined eyes. But as the ball is snapped, another more subtle mistake reveals itself:

Jalen Collins 1But that is not the only problem I have with Collins’ technique here (and believe me…technique is just as if not more important than size and speed in the NFL):

Here we see Collins in “pass coverage” – not deep enough to be considered “off” but not press coverage because he is not close enough to make contact. Collins’ first assignment: DO NOT GIVE UP THE INSIDE. There is no help there and a singled-up cornerback wants to force the receiver to the outside so that he can use the sideline as a defender and compress the receiver’s field of play. The sideline scenario plays out perfectly for a 6’1″ cornerback with a 36″ vertical. But notice the red arrow…Collins’ first step is to drop his outside foot. His first step should be with his inside, turning his hips toward the center of the field and allowing him to drive in to cutoff the inside from Amari Cooper. This subtle error sets up Amari for success and Jalen for failure as follows:

Jalen Collins 2

Jalen Collins maintains attention to Cooper’s shoulder pads which are pointing upfield. But look at Amari’s hips they are telling the truth about his intention to take the inside. The combination of pass coverage, lack of eye discipline and poor footwork create a perfect storm for Collins.

Jalen Collins 4

Amari Cooper is wide open inside and not only gets a reception on the play, but Collins is so far out of position that he can’t even make a tackle. Without help, this play results in a touchdown.


While I love this kid’s measurables, he is not ready for pro receivers, so I don’t see him as a first rounder. However, if the Packers do pick him up…I really won’t be unhappy because I think in a few years he might be fantastic. Remember, he has only had 10 starts!  I trust the Packers coaching staff to be able to take a young player like this and mold him into a disciplined NFL quality cornerback. In the meantime though, that would mean we would have to do without depth at what is seen as a need position on our defense.

So what do you think Packernation? What should Ted Thompson do if Jalen Collins is on the board at pick 30?






Rant and Rave: Jalen Collins, CB-LSU
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4 thoughts on “Rant and Rave: Jalen Collins, CB-LSU

  • April 16, 2015 at 10:12 am

    I would wait until 3rd round to see if he is there no sooner

  • April 16, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    You can teach Proper defensive technique, but speed agility and vertical leap speak to raw athleTicism. 2nd round.

  • April 17, 2015 at 4:11 am

    First off, I have to admit that I’ve never heard of Charles Davis. But he’s not the only one suggesting that we take Collins at pick 30.

    I tend to agree with what you’ve written Brady. Other than QB, I think CB is the most risky position in the 1st round. With Shields, Hayward, Goodson, and Hyde in the mix for CB, I think we’re looking more at depth than an immediate starter – and that can be found in later rounds.

    I’ve seen several recent mock drafts with us taking a couple different ILBs, or NTs. I hope TT shores up the NT position first, then goes possibly ILB or more D-line help, before taking a CB. Go Pack go!

  • April 17, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    Dean Berhow-Goll from 247 Sports (CBS Sports) has considered possible picks at 30 including (in no particular order):
    Maxx Williams (TE)
    Paul Dawson (ILB)
    Jalen Collins (CB)
    Eric Kendricks (ILB)
    Marcus Peters (CB)

    Personally, I’d rather trade up to get a good NT/DE. But I figure we’ll either say put or trade down according to TT’s track record.

    My preferred pick at 30 is still between Jordan Phillips (NT), Randy Gregory (OLB), Ereck Flowers (OT), or Eric Kendricks (ILB). I suspect that the draft will be as unpredictable as ever. Any of these players could still be on the board at 30, or they may all be gone. :)


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