Cowboys Draft Profile: CB Jalen Collins

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Jalen Collins, CB, LSU
Ht. 6014, Wt. 203, Arm: 32 1/8", Hand: 9 3/8", Bench: -
40 yd: 4.48, 10 yd.: 1.50, 3 Cone: 6.77, Vertical: 36", Broad: 10'4"
Games Watched: Alabama, at Notre Dame, at Texas A&M

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Cornerback Jalen Collins had trouble breaking into a starting role in a talented LSU secondary, notching only 10 starts in three seasons. After a slow start, he came on strong toward the end of his third season, finishing with 17 passes broken up on the year

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I admit that I was intrigued when Collins declared for the draft. LSU has overtaken the title of "DBU" from Texas within the last few years, so I couldn’t wait to see what their latest offering could do on tape.

Strengths

If you prefer Height-Weight-Speed prospects at cornerback, Collins is your guy. With his height and length, he looks like a Cromartie. Bet on a fast 40 time at the Combine too, as he has ideal recovery speed for the position.

Collins isn’t overly physical yet, but he tries to be. He sheds blocks well at times and isn’t afraid to throw his body into thicker running backs. He has room to add weight to his frame without sacrificing speed, so he’ll be a force against the run eventually.

In some ways, Collins is shows promise technically. He seemed to anticipate some routes, especially out-breaking routes and fades, using the sideline to his advantage turning his head to avoid penalties. He also plants and drives well and looks like Richard Sherman when he high points the ball.

Weaknesses

In other ways, Collins’ technique is just plain awful. His backpedal is one of the least natural I’ve seen from a college cornerback, which is perplexing because he has fairly fluid hips for a taller corner. He also tends to open his hips too early.

Collins’ 10-yard split and 3-cone shuttle times will be especially important, because he looks slow to change direction at times. Inside-breaking routes give him trouble, especially against smaller receivers, because of his choppy feet and slow reaction time.

Collins is an ideal press corner prospect because he’s feisty and has long arms to jam receivers. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have much experience pressing because LSU plays a lot of bail technique. Between technical work and learning an NFL scheme, he’s likely a year away from being a significant contributor.

Verdict: Second Rounder

The combine will be huge for Collins. If he shows improved technique and tests well he could move toward the first round. As he is, though, he looks more like a third-round prospect that is worth a second-round pick because of his immense potential.

The Cowboys and Collins might be a match since the team can get by with the cornerbacks they have while they wait for him to develop. He does need a lot of work, but his ceiling — an Antonio Cromartie-type career — might be the highest of any cornerback in this draft.

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