2013 Draft Pick – Break-Out Year
This is the first of a four part series. Today AFC East News … NE Patriots will be picking a player from last year’s draft for each team. I will tell you why I believe he will be a difference maker this season.
#2 Jamie Collins, OLB, Southern Miss
Collins is an incredibly gifted athlete. When the Pats selected him last year, he was considered raw; after all, he had not really played LB for a very long time.
Jamie actually began his career at Southern Miss as a QB. He was switched to Safety, and as he grew into his body he was moved to what they call the Bandit position. He was allowed to roam between OLB and DE, depending on the situation.
In college he was an excellent tackler, with good closing speed.
Hardly used by Belichick in year 1, he really only played a true five games. Collins has had a tough transition to the speed of the NFL, but that is totally expected, especially on a team that demands you win now.
Jamie Collins will benefit tremendously from the one year on the job learning experience. The OTAs and classroom work will help him understand what Belichick expects. New England’s defensive backs have improved personnel, thus making it easier for the LBs to do their job.
I believe that Collins will start from week 1 and progress as the season moves along. He will become a force on the outside, rushing the QB. His closing speed along with his strength and athleticism will make this the best 2013 pick for the New England Patriots.
What I really like about Collins is his roots; the QB and Safety position. This means to me he has been a QB on offense and defense. He understands the flow of the game and makes adjustments. Having to move from offense to defense is never an easy transition, but this young man has done it, and he played in the SEC.
After this season, we will be talking about Jamie as the LB of the Patriots. I will go as far as predicting a Pro-Bowl appearance by year 4, if not 3.