Apr 6, 2016, 12:42 PM EDT
Redskins draft countdown
The NFL draft is 22 days away and there is plenty of speculation as to what players Scot McCloughan will select to wear the burgundy and gold. Between now and the draft we’ll look at some of the players who might be of interest to the Redskins and discuss how he might fit in Washington.
40-yard dash: 4.59
Projected draft round: 3-4
What they’re saying
Collins was an ideal fit for [Arkansas coach Bret] Bielema’s blueprint on offense with his light feet to make sharp cuts, but also his physical nature to welcome contact, finish forward and do most of his damage between the tackles. Collins is a physical runner, but needs to improve his pad level and ball security to be more reliable at the next level.
Although he won’t consistently create on his own, Collins has an excellent blend of quickness, patience and power to get what is blocked for him and contribute as an NFL rookie.
How he fits the Redskins: How much can they trust Matt Jones? He flashed some potential on plays here and there but he lacked consistency and his four fumbles all seemed to come at the worst times.
If they just want a Plan B in case Jones fizzles in 2016 they could wait and sign Pierre Thomas or another veteran still on the street. But if they want to go with running back by committee, with two backs carrying the load they should look to the middle rounds of the draft and perhaps to a back like Collins.
At Arkansas he was a model of consistency; he rarely failed to go to the right spot and get at least as much as the play is blocked for. Collins is not a burner and he’s not a big back but he’s a good combination of speed, size and football smarts.
Potential issues: Jones’ fumbles are an issue and they were an issue for Collins as well. He lost the handle on the ball 16 times during his career, usually due to not protecting the ball properly when fighting for extra yardage. No doubt, McCloughan and company will need to figure out if this is something that the coaches can remedy before they seriously look into him.
Bottom line: Should the Redskins spend a mid-round draft pick on a running back two drafts in a row? Whether they do or not will depend largely on if a running back is the best available payer on the board when they pick.
And I they do take a running back, should they take on with a skill set similar to Jones’? Or should they look towards a back with some demonstrated pass-catching ability (Collins caught just 27 passes in three years with the Razorback)?
If they want a guy who is more like Jones to compete with Jones, Collins should be under serious consideration.
In his own words
About the importance of patience:
I would say it’s definitely patience, that plays a huge factor in it because if you’re the type of runner that just always runs outside, then they’ll just come from the outside and force you up the field. Just being patient, letting things lead up to it, if that’s the road it takes you, then you go with it. If you’ve got cuts up the field, you take the cuts. But I would definitely say it’s just being patience, letting things play out. If that’s the best opportunity, take that opportunity. But as far as just aiming for the outside, it wouldn’t work every time because defenses wouldn’t let you keep doing that.
Previously in Redskins draft countdown:
- Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama
- Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State
- Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
- Robert Nkemdiche, DL, Ole Miss
- Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama
- A’Shawn Robinson, DL, Alabama
- Andrew Billings, DL, Baylor
- Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State
- Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia
- Jarran Reed, DL, Alabama
- J. Prosise, RB, Notre Dame
- Cody Kessler, QB, USC
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