Atlanta Falcons: What Jalen Collins Means For The Secondary
Nov 15, 2014; Fayetteville, AR, USA; LSU Tigers cornerback Jalen Collins (32) before the game between the Arkansas Razorbacks and the LSU Tigers at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
The Atlanta Falcons came out of the 2015 NFL Draft with an impressive haul. Many analysts, myself included, believe the Falcons truly knocked this one out of the park. They got a treasure trove of players in Rounds 1-5, each one a fantastic value and a potential starter when the Falcons start the season.
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Perhaps the most polarizing and gutsy pick of the 2015 draft class was the second round selection of LSU CB Jalen Collins. The Falcons were widely thought to be targeting a FS, LG, or ILB with their second round pick. Why, then, would they be going after a CB?
There are several good reasons for the pick. Collins was a tremendous value at the 42nd overall pick, with a first round grade according to many analysts. He fits the mold of what Dan Quinn desires in his CBs almost perfectly: big and athletic, with solid speed. The Falcons, despite having just sunk two high picks into the position in 2013, need more cornerbacks.
But why would the Falcons pass on other desirable players, like UCLA ILB Eric Kendricks or Oregon OT Jake Fisher, to draft a secondary player that isn’t likely to be in play for their vacancy at free safety? Those two players provided good value as well, and at positions of great need.
Quinn knows what he needs, and what he needs is a bigger, better CB to play opposite of Desmond Trufant in order for his defense work properly.
The answer is simple: Quinn knows what he needs, and what he needs is a bigger, better CB to play opposite of Desmond Trufant in order for his defense work properly. Trufant is a budding superstar at the position, but the rest of the Falcons CB corps in 2014 was inconsistent at best. Robert Alford has shown flashes of quality play, but his size makes him a poor candidate on the outside.
With the Falcons taking Collins in the second, that pushed other needs further down the board. FS was never truly addressed (S Akeem King, the Falcons final selection, is rumored to be moving to CB), leaving the team with only Charles Godfrey and Dezmen Southward. I’m here to tell you that this may have been the plan all along.
Next: The Falcons' plan for Jalen Collins