The Atlanta Falcons have announced that third year CB Jalen Collins has been suspended for the first 10 games of the 2017 NFL season due to a violation of the league’s performance enhancing drugs policy. This latest development is another downward swing for a player who has had a roller coaster start to his NFL career.
Collins, who was the 42nd overall selection in 2015, had a strong sophomore campaign after a rocky rookie season with the team. But as good as Collins played for a vast majority of the year, his season will be marred by both a 4 game PED suspension and a horrid performance in the Super Bowl (10 receptions allowed for 98 yards and 2 touchdowns).
Let’s take a look back at Collins’ Draft report from the 2015 NFL Draft Prospectus and see how his career trajectory aligns thus far:
First thing first: Collins did play as a rookie and the results were not good. It was great to see him develop in his second year after getting back from both a knee injury and his initial suspension handed out in the spring of 2016. Collins did find much more success in Head Coach Dan Quinn’s Cover 3 heavy scheme during year two.
Collins’ noted strengths in college: “eyes on the QB”, “hip mobility to open and drop off the LOS” and “length/reach to reach up”. All are notable traits needed to play as a deep third defender in a Cover 3 system. And the NFL is very much actively trending to long, lengthy bail technique defenders for Cover 3.
Collins is now at a dangerous crossroads. Two suspensions in three years will put him on slippery footing with the team and Collins’ play still needs to level out with greater consistency.
The team will likely be hesitant to overlook his transgressions, regardless of how well Collins plays in the final six games of the season and could be in the market for more competition and depth at the CB position next winter as a result.