Former 3rd round pick out of Nebraska by the Cowboys. Has started 55 of his 61 career games including all 16 in 2019. Ranked 12th in the league for IDL QB pressures with 43 over 763 (71%) of the team’s defensive snaps. Collins will only be 25 in April, and could be another player on our list that commands a deal that negates another team’s need for an IDL in this year’s draft.
At 6’2, 308, Collins brings adequate height and weight to the position, but has over 33” arms and 9” hands to allow him to play with length and leverage. Good quickness and agility in his initial burst off the LOS and plays with good leverage; gets into the body of the OL and forces them to drop their hands and keeps his balance throughout contact. Good 1-on-1 Play Strength; good ability to drive OL into the pocket, and to absorb double teams to free up blitzing LB’s. Good UOH; does a good job initiating contact with the hands into the OL to stand them upright, and continues to drive and shows a very good motor. Good mental processing; quickly diagnoses plays, especially quick screens to the HB to not get too far upfield, and allows himself to stay in the play. Against the pass his UOH are violent, and relentless. Demonstrating lateral quickness and UOH to stunt from one B gap to the opposite A gap, flip his hips, get skinny, and split the double-team. As a 3-technique in even-man fronts, he does a good job working back inside and uses his hands and leverage to be disruptive with good quickness to beat the Guard across his face. Mixes power with finesse to work back inside with good use of swim and spin moves. Keeps his balance and feet under him to relocate the ball and continue to attack. In odd-man fronts as a 0-1 technique, Collins does a very good job shedding blocks and using 1-on-1 strength to beat the Center. Does a good job coming off the LOS low, with violent hands to control the LOS and take the shortest, quickest route to the QB.
Struggles in space; when asked to loop outside of the B gap he doesn’t possess the ability to loop back towards the QB to be disruptive. When he does break free past the LOS, his pursuit looks fierce, but is adequately careless. He starts the play and uses great technique, good mental processing and strength to shed the blockers, but his pursuit looks out of control. Becomes a see ball get ball type of guy, and loses the fundamentals he just used to shed a double-team. Adequate ability rushing through the B gap, takes poor angles and runs himself out of the play. Adequate awareness to get his hands up and attempt to bat-down passes at the LOS; will continue to take a poor angle to the QB rather than changing his course, and getting back in the face of the QB to try and look for a PBU.
Collins has to be among the most underrated Free Agents this Spring. His tape is good, and he checks so many boxes as an interior DL. He can be trusted to win 1-on-1’s through the A and B gap, he occupies double-teams and allows the Linebackers to roam free, and he has the occasional rep where he can flip his hips, split the double, and pursue the ball carrier. It’s also important to know that Collins will only be 25 in April. He may not command the media hype, but he’s well worth the price, which I’m sure won’t be one that breaks the bank. With all the big name free agents in Dallas, Collins is almost an afterthought. There will be plenty of teams who would love to acquire someone with his youth and skillset. His career earnings are under $4M, and my guess is he will make somewhere slightly above that per year in his next contract. Possible a $6-$8m/year range deal, with not much guaranteed; the higher the annual number, the lower the guaranteed percentage. Nonetheless, Collins is an excellent interior DL who will make many DL’s and ILB groups better.