The SideLion Report’s Detroit Lions Draft Profile series gives an in-depth scouting analysis of college football players who could be on the Detroit Lions’ radar this spring.
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Despite a secondary that over-performed this past season, the Lions could still gain from adding depth at the cornerback position. With both Cassius Vaughn and Rashean Mathis being free agents, the certainty at the position is called to question. Not to mention, Mathis finished his 12th season in the league this past year, which puts his durability and longevity under the microscope. Detroit could be considering a player like Jalen Collins from LSU to pair another big cover corner with Darius Slay.
After viewing four games, I gave Collins a 6.9 J grade (early second round). Here’s an excerpt from his scouting report:
Jalen Collins, CB – LSU
Height: 6010 Weight: 203 40 Time: 4.48
NFL Comparison: Terrell Thomas
Prototypical height and weight for the position, with long arms. Quick-footed with smooth hips and fluid change of direction. Above average long speed to play tight coverage from press trail. Stays in balance downfield and consistently gets his head around to play the ball. Excellent vertical with ability to highpoint and win 50-50 balls. Good read and react skills – diagnoses run/pass and closes quickly. Above average in run support – doesn’t shy away from contact. Fundamentally sound tackler. Plays with swagger.
Unseasoned – doesn’t have a lot of starting experience. High cut and is a bit slow to transition east/west. Route recognition skills are raw – gets turned around at the stem. Possesses a number of technical deficiencies – needs to use hands better to jam in press, gets high in his drop and has a tendency to open up the gate early. Questionable hands – leaves INTs on the field. Not real scheme diverse – better suited for press than zone.
There’s no doubt Collins has the raw measureables and athletic ability to succeed in the NFL. However, with only 10 starts in 39 games, a case could be made for him to stay in school another year and work on the finer points of his game. Long-limbed with excellent length, ideal fluidity and balance, Collins is perfectly suited to play in a heavy press man scheme. He has the foot quicks, speed and balance to stay in tight man coverage, and his size allows him to match up well on the outside with the bigger receivers in the league. But there are numerous technical deficiencies that will need improvement to avoid him getting exposed at the next level.
The fact that his shortcomings are all correctable and his size/athleticism combo will probably result in him being drafted a bit higher than his final grade warrants. Early second round outside press corner with upside who should contribute early and start no later than year two.
Snap by Snap Film
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