The New England Patriots decided to select LB Jamie Collins out of Southern Mississippi with their first pick of the NFL draft, which came in Round Two. Now there is quite a bit of hype surrounding Collins due to how much of a freak he is athletically. Will that help him out come next season when Bill Belichick calls his number? It sure can, as their line backing core isn’t as bad as their corners but they still needed help. He’ll see the field no question next season, just how often is the big question.
Just like any rookie, you need to be ready to compete right from beginning. There could be some challenges on where and when to line him up as the Patriots are stacked at linebacker next season with Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes and Dont’a Hightower. The obvious role for Collins is being the backup to Rob Ninkovich as a hybrid linebacker and defensive end. That position will likely go to Collins if he can beat out Jermaine Cunningham for playing time. One thing the coaches love about Collins, is how versatile he is on defense. In college he played at Safety, Outside Linebacker, and Defensive end.
Another role for him could end up being the back up for Brandon Spikes. He’s entering the final year of his contract next season. Collins will be given the chance to show his skills next season at both the defensive end and line backer position. This year, he may not put up huge numbers, but when he’s on the field he will make a big impact. In fact, he could end up even starting after next season if he proves himself to the coaches. He’s known for making a lot of damage in the backfield and can also play in coverage effectively.