Atlanta Falcons: Jalen Collins’ role expanded vs Titans


One of the biggest story lines that flew under the radar in the Atlanta Falcons’ win over the Tennessee Titans last Sunday was the expanded role of rookie cornerback Jalen Collins on defense.

Collins was on the field 37 out of the Falcons’ 54 defensive snaps and played predominantly as the slot corner beside Robert Alford. As far as targets go, i’m not sure how many times he was targeted if any, but what I can tell you is, he had zero tackles.

While many believe Collins needs at least a year or two before his full potential peeks through, it is good to see Dan Quinn giving a little big of faith in what the rookie can bring to the table.

More from Blogging Dirty

Standing at 6-foot-2, Collins has the potential to be a clone of Richard Sherman, one of the leagues’ top corners who Quinn coached while in Seattle. Collins was selected in the second round out of LSU but didn’t have a ton of playing time while in college. Collins played in 32 games over his three-year carer as a Tiger.

Collins is extremely raw, much like Ra’Shede Hageman was coming out of Minnesota. The Falcons’ starting defensive tackle struggled all throughout his rookie season and finally came into his own in his second year. The Falcons are hoping that Collins follows in his footsteps.

If you watch tape of Collins, his coverage is lackluster. I’m not very confident at all that Collins can’t shut down anyone in the league right now, but they are giving him a chance to show off what he can do.

Re-watch the Falcons’ game-winning interception against the Titans. Rookie Robenson Therezie leaped up to make the interception, but watch the route Collins was covering. Collins will be on the bottom of your screen. If Zach Mettenberger had elected to throw to the man Collins was covering, the pass is likely completed.

Now that’s pure speculation, but it’s a fair assessment. Collins’ coverage was very soft, almost like he wasn’t going to allow the receiver to run past him. If you have that mindset as a corner, then you’re going to get beaten more times than not.

It will be interesting to find out just how many times Mettenberger threw towards Collins, but until then we can all agree that Collins will be out there more times than not, so we better hope he can hold his own. lets see what the rookie can do when tested.