New England Patriots: 6 most valuable players

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Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

6. Jamie Collins

I’m not joking when I say that Collins will earn a Defensive Player of the Year trophy at some point in his career. He is extremely talented, athletic and disruptive as a defender.

Last year, Collins was the Patriots’ leading tackler with 115 takedowns. He also recorded two interceptions (tied for the team lead), six passes defended, four fumbles forced, two fumbles received and four sacks. He can do it all.

Although slightly underweight for a linebacker at 250 pounds, Collins makes up for it with his height (6-foot-4), lankiness and power.

Collins played so well in 2014 that Pro Football Focus placed him on their PFF All-Pro Second Team. In other words, one of the best sources of football metrics and statistical analysis considered Collins to be one of the top four linebackers in the entire league. And he was just a sophomore pro; imagine what this next year holds for Collins.

You’re not going to find a writer out there who is more excited about Collins than myself. If I had any money left over after paying for tuition this fall, I would definitely purchase a brand-new No. 91 jersey.

Next: 5. Dont'a Hightower