The Green Bay Packers do not have many needs entering the 2015 NFL Draft but one position where they could use some help is cornerback, especially after losing both Tramon Williams and Davon House in NFL Free Agency this offseason. And while there are a number of solid corner prospects, none makes more sense for Green Bay than LSU’s Jalen Collins.
Collins, who stands 6-1 and weighs in at 203 pounds, has a rare blend of size and speed. He is the big, physical cornerback the Packers have been lacking. Williams was good and he was good in man coverage but he could not physically dominate receivers at the line of scrimmage—Collins can. He can run with them too.
There is no question that Collins is a bit raw. He started just ten games in his college career, but that doesn’t mean anything. Clay Matthews only started nine games at USC and look how he turned out. And in 13 games last season, Collins notched 10 passes defensed which shows what kind of ability he has to make plays on the ball. Opposing quarterbacks also completed just 35 percent of his passes against him. He is also physical against the run and not afraid to mix it up near the line of scrimmage.
Green Bay is not in a terrible spot at corner with Casey Heyward and Micah Hyde set to take on bigger roles this season but neither has Collins size or his speed and both may be better suited to playing in the slot. The Packers have done well at developing corners, i.e. Sam Shields, Hayward, House, Williams, Hyde and they can bring Collins along so he becomes an elite NFL corner because all the physical traits are there.
Now, the question is whether Collins will be available when Green Bay picks at the end of the first round. That is questionable, but last year it didn’t seem possible that Ha Ha Clinton-Dix would be available where he was and it all worked out. If that same thing happens and Collins falls into Green Bay’s lap, Packers fans should do a jig and Ted Thompson should run the selection to the podium.