Alex CollinsRB Arkansas

5-10, 217, (O) 4.59, 9'8 Broad, 

30 1/4" Arms, 19 Reps.

28.5" Vert, 9'5" Broad

The Player the Pats Need in 2nd: Part III.

By TOM

Collins is a super exciting RB from the SEC who chose to enter the Draft as a Junior eligible. "If he comes back with us next year, you’re probably looking at a Heisman candidate. He’ll go down as one of the best players not only at Arkansas, but he could be the first player ever to rush for four 1,000-yard seasons in the SEC. It’s never been done before," his HC Bielema said before he declared. "If he goes on, the NFL is going to get a very good football player with a lot of growth and a lot of opportunity in front of him. I’m just blessed to have three years with him already." He is the RB who I think will be available at 60 who can help the Pats the most in Brady's final four years. 

Maybe he's not the best RB in Draft. I have him third behind Elliot and Henry. "He wasn’t any different than what we saw on videotape," the HC of K-State Bill Snyder said, after Collins rushed for 185-yards and 3 TDs again him in their Bowl Game. "He’s a very explosive young guy. He runs downhill extremely well, but he can make you miss. He’s an extremely talented young guy. As you look, you have a plethora of exciting and talented running backs in the SEC. And he’s at the top of the list, I think." Maybe Dixon, Perkins, or Booker are better backs. But, I just love to watch this kid run the ball. 

His herky Jerky COD is so fun to watch. He looks dead in the water in the backfield, and then he turns up field and burst past the LOS. Plus, Arkansas is one of those teams that is always over matched in the SEC. This kid is running against Alabama, LSU, and A&M every year, and gaining a 1,000-yards. He is the third RB, behind Hershel Walker and Darren McFadden, to run for a 1,000-yards in his first three years in the SEC.

Even though he wasn't the true feature back until this year when Jonathan Williams got injured. "It was stressful at first,” Collins said about his senior cohort getting injured. “I felt bad for [Williams]. I knew it would be different. I was under his wing since I got here, and not having him out there anymore is just a different experience." They worked together so well for two seasons. "We were good together," Collins said. "We were a good tandem because we complemented each other. At times I would go in and I would be a power back and he was the elusive back. And then at times, he was the power back and I was the elusive back. Just throwing that at defenses, it kind of helped us to open up our run game." His versatility and experience sharing the load are two of the reasons the Pats have to get this kid.

He heads over to the strong side and blocks a lot. He often runs with both hands on the ball, and really doesn't like to fumble. He has had 17 fumbles at Arkansas and lost 9. He has worked on his ball security a lot, and strangles the ball with both hands a lot more in 2015, but he still had 5 fumbles and lost two last season. "He didn't always prepare as he should for the game. He wasn't efficient as where he needed to be in the 48 hours leading up to the game," Bielema said. "That’s when Alex doesn't perform well. I was very adamant about that. He pissed me off. He's got so much potential. The only guy who limits him is him." But he does take to hard coaching (hello Mr. Belichick). He has had a good game every time Bielema called him out.

He has really improved this past season in his mental preparation for games. "Alex's preparation this year has been the difference," Bielema said. "Him and Jemal Singleton [Arkansas RB coach] have really hit it off from day one. Alex has become a complete player. Alex asked his high school coach how about my blocking? When a running back is talking about blocking that is a good sign." He has become a complete player.

He really does a nice job faking like he has the ball on play action, and then blocking. "That's something I actually take pride in, my pass protection," Collins said. "I feel like that's a big part of my game. It's something that I'm really good at. I really feel like that's been helping me, and that helped me a lot in college. That allowed me to be an every-down back. I don't have to be taken out for third-down situations because I know what I'm doing in the passing game." He almost over-acts on the play action sometimes, which is what coaches want. 

He is a very good, but not a great blocker yet, but he can really show his potential sometimes in pass pro. He could be great. He is often great. But he too often, I don't know, doesn't find someone to block. He gets into position, especially on the QB's left, and then doesn't hit anyone. "I have a better understanding of the game," Collins said, then added with a smile, "I think I should get helmet sticker every time I get a knockdown [block]." When he does focus on a blitzer he is very effective. He can knock blitzers down with blocks. 

When he hits a rusher, even a DE, he can knock them on their ass. "He gets as fired up about getting a knock down on pass protection than he does about his carries," Singleton said. "There's not a running back in the country I’d want on third downs in pass protection than Alex Collins." When he steps to the left off the play action, he does a good job of sticking his helmet right in the chest of the speed rusher. When he puts his hands up he will whiff against quick passrushers sometimes, like Garrett from A&M. He is better when he can stick his shoulder pads or helmet into blitzers.

He can move a pile when he lowers his head into it. He runs with excellent lean. "I try to pattern myself off of those guys [ Peterson, Gore and McFadden], because they got there for a reason," Collins said. "Those guys are really great backs that have done some really good things at the college level and NFL level. The way I look at it, I just try to find what moves they're good at, like if someone has a good spin move or a good stiff-arm, or just kind of learn their favorite move and add that to my game so I can be the most complete back as possible." 

He always seems to fall forward for extra yards. He has very nifty feet moving laterally at the LOS to find a hole. He is so good at slicing through traffic and changing direction constantly. I love RBs who are constantly changing direction. There are times when he is getting hit from all angles and just doesn't go down. It is amazing sometimes.

Very herky-jerky stop and go, change gears runner. He knows when to explode straight forward and punish defenders. "The kid is unbelievable," his teammate Sebastian Tretola said. "He runs angry. He runs mad. The legs never stop, and that adds to our mentality. The offensive linemen keep going. Even if you miss your block, he might make that guy miss. So you better keep running because you might help him 20 or 30 yards down the field." He is as twitchy with the ball in his hands as anyone, when he is trying to find some space.  He likes to use a nice spin move when he is caught in the backfield to make the LB miss.

I love his eyes coming up to the line. "Alex is playing as good as football as he’s ever played since he’s been here," Bielema said. "He’s been a steady crescendo in our program, and that’s what you should do. You should get better every day, every week, every year." He has some dancer's feet before he gets to full speed. 

He knows how to gear down a little to find the hole, and then explode into it.  He runs a little high, but has a good sense of when to lower his head and hold the ball with both hands. When he has a lane, he fires through the hole with a great burst to the second and third level. He can make a guy "miss" with his shoulder pads, or rather knock him to the ground and take off.

Sometimes I just don't know what he is doing on the strongside when trying to block in pass pro. It's like he wants to block, but his instincts for running make him miss. When he spots the blitzer coming, he can cross the backfield and get in front of him. He can look so good physically making a block, and then look so clueless sometimes. He is a very good blocker hitting the linebacker who got fooled by the play action. He can get low and block the blitzing DB very well. Knocks guys down his his size and speed when blocking out of the backfield.

He runs out of the I, Shotgun, and Singleback a lot, which is what the Pats like to run out of a lot. "I honestly feel like I'm the best running back in the draft," Collins said. "And it's more of a confidence thing. I don't like to settle being mediocre or settle that other running backs are better than me. I feel like I can compete with the best." He has such great vision when a D-end jumps inside too quickly, and he will hop cut outside, turn the corner, and is gone. He does a nice job using his left hand to push off tacklers and get extra yards. He is at his best when he can weave behind blockers. When he does have a lot of room to run, he does a nice job hopping through the hole.

Not the best receiver out of the backfield. "As far as receiving, I feel like I can be a big threat, getting out, getting routes and stuff like that," Collins said. " But the way my system worked in college, we were more check-downs and whatnot, so I feel like I can definitely be used more in the passing game on the next level." However when he catch it, he is deadly out in space.

When he sees a lane he has underrated speed getting to it and getting extra yards. He is one of the RBs in this Draft that can get more yards than the O-line block for, in multiple ways. He does a good job hitting the blitzing LB off the play action and stopping him from hitting the QB. He will stay in to block, and if a blitzer doesn't come, he will sometimes curl out to the flat. He gets outside position nicely on the ORT, and stops the D-end from running past him.

Last season he had 1.577 and 20 TDs on 271 carries for a nice 5.8 yards per carry. He also caught 13 passes for 95 yards. He ended up with 284 touches from scrimmage for 1,672, yards and 5.9 yard average per touch. He was solid returning kickoffs as a Sophomore.

Additional Notes:

K-State: He has such a great nose for the Endzone. His second TD run against K-State was incredible. He bounced off about five defenders until he dived the ball out for the TD. He is so incredible at making guys miss with his feet, while holding the ball with both hands. He had a great 20-yard TD run against K-State out of the power I. He loves to cut to his right. He is amazing, at 220-pounds, at cutting back with his quick feet and making guys miss. When he runs the Zone Draw out of the I, and cuts back against he grain for a 1st, I just see him as a Patriot.

Tennessee: He has such sneaky feet when he get a little space, and makes the defense shift the wrong way, and slips right up the middle against the grain. He is just so good at subtly finding the open green and shiftily shifting into it for more yards than he should have gotten. He always seems to run through or make the first defender miss. I love how he follows his blockers. He always seems to find yards that no one else can see. He runs with his head up, and has great short quick strides that allow him to cut on a dime. When he gets outside, and someone sets the edge. he will get outside as far as he can, then stop and lower his head and power for four or five yards. He gets so amazingly low when he wants to.

Alabama:  Nice blocker in pass pro. Great blocker. He can put a rusher on his backside. He will led the QB out of the backfield when he has to take off. I think Collins is better than Williams. He has more flash. He has great speed to the outside for a 220-pound back. Nice shimmy inside, and then burst outside. He is such a nice blend of speed and power. Follows his blockers well. Reminds me of a faster Chris Ivory. He will also run behind a lot of twin TE sets, and is very adept at cutting back when a team over pursues in front of the TEs. He will line up outside as an X-receiver on Empty sets. Arkansas is another team that copied a lot of sets and formations from the Pats Super Champ team in 2015.

Mississippi: He reminds me of Chris Ivory. He will go low and play for a long time in the NFL. I love how he moves with the ball in his hands. He can turn himself sideways to squeak through a hole. Three straight thousand yard seasons. Excellent blend of eyes, size, and speed. Great feet and balance. He has a nice stutter step move, but is not a real make you miss guy. He is more of a slasher. He doesn't pass block much. He more fakes like he is blocking and then goes into patterns late. Nice lateral burst to find a lane to run through. Runs with great power, lean. and always falls forward.

Missouri: He likes to go low to pick up the blitz. He runs in front of the QB to block the blitzer on the strongside a lot. He runs as low as any RB in this Draft. He is so good at sneaking through the line and getting yards when there doesn't look like any are available. explosive on the second level. He uses his great eyes to run to daylight. They run a lot of fakes to him, which defenses have to respect. He will also slip out of the backfield and get open in the Box. They run a shotgun offense, so he runs out of the Shotgun a ton, like the Pats do. They will also line up in a 3-Wide Singleback and run the ball, like the Pats.

Alex Collins Vs A&M 2015:

Okay, so he is not a shake and bake make you miss back, but he has a lot more slipperiness than given credit. Watch this one-cut. Where he plants the inside foot, and snaps outside. Then turns up field for a nice run (:01). You can see the Arkansas O-line Zone blocking to the left, and he cutback behind the scheme. Watch his feet as he moves. He has great size and power, but what makes him special is that he has those special feet that you can't teach. He gets to the second level, and another one-cut with his feet, this time inside, and makes the LB miss. Then he drags two defenders over the magic yellow line. Somebody stop me!

He runs a third straight play action, and this time chips on the Strongside DE. He gets his hands up, but gets shoved aside too easily. But his chip did allow the QB to escape (:35). Here he is in a Bunched up Singleback, which the Pats will run out of. He can be a very economical runner sometimes. He doesn't look like he is doing much (:49). But watch him weave through traffic with his great feet. He makes three quick cuts at full speed and leave three defenders on the floor. You can't teach those instincts.

I think he is always a better blocker when he gets his shoulder into the block. That was a nice pickup on Garrett who is a total freak, and should be the top edgerusher taken next year (1:23). To really appreciate him you have to watch his feet. Watch him shuffle to the left twice, and then back to the right with his great feet (1:34). He runs a little high, and that can cause some fumbles. But he has a great knack for when to duck his head. Watch how he gets low and strangles the ball with both hands (1:44). He's not a speed merchant, but there are not a lot of guys who hit the hole as hard as he does when he has a lane to run through (1:56). He is at the second level before the first level guys can even turn around. Then he tries to juke the Safety with his feet.

Here is a smart run. He has nothing, and nowhere to go. Watch him hide behind the OLG, until he can fall forward for a cloud of dust. Sometimes a 3-yard run is a great run (2:09). He slows the blitzer, but whiffs on the block (2:21). Here we go, Shotgun Draw. He will run this as a Patriot (2:32). He scoots past the LOS. Sees the opening to the right. He makes an elite cut at the LOS, to make the linebacker miss. He sees he has some open green outside, so he hops outside. Then this is what he does. Instead of turning it into a race to the corner, he turns up field, lowers his head, and powers for the 1st down. That is a 217-pound RB with some sweet feet and hops right there.

Twins-Twins Singleback. Remember this formation Pats fans. He has such underrated agility. He likes to try and spin out of trouble when a blitzer or DT shots into the backfield. Watch this great spin move that turns a –4 yard run that wasn't blocked into zero (2:45). 4-Wide Strong-Shotgun. You know the Pats run this. I don’t know who the Arkansas Offensive Coordinator is, but he broke down the Tape of the Pats last Super Bowl team, and copied everything (2:58). This is one of those times where I have to idea what he is doing. He loses his mind sometimes in pass pro.

He does have some nice blocking chops. Watch how he hops over across the formation to the opposite side of the QB, to pick up the outside blitzer. That is a great block in pass pro (3:19). Patriots love the 4-Wide Weak shotgun. He goes the wrong way, and then back into the QB as he throws. Sometimes he looks like he has no idea what he is doing in pass pro (3:31). He reminds me a lot of Ridley, with less of a fumbling problems. But sometimes you have to stop and wonder what both of those guys were thinking.

He does have some heaviness in his hands hitting the blitzer (3:55). He is so good at finding those small gaps between the tackles (4:07). You see his hop-cuts and quickness and forget that he is a 217-pound back. That is a powerful run for a cloud of dust (4:19). I-formation. Misses the blitz pickup (4:29). After a couple of power runs, we get to see why so many think he is a great blocker (5:02). He catches the ILB blitzing up the gut. When he has a line on a blitz, and gets low and hits up with his pads, he can pancake them. He knocks this guy right off his feet.

He is running a screen, but the LB gets in his way. He lowers his head and watch the nice block on him, but he wasn't followed (5:14). He is so quick that he can angle to some open space (5:27). Watch the outside-in juke he gave Garrett for the 1st down. That is a great short yardage run for a powerful 1st (5:38). Again, you see the spin in the backfield when someone blows up the play right up the gut (5:49). This is what makes him special. This should have been a 4-yard loss, but instead he: spins out of the TFL, gets past the LOS, sees the green outside, and then puts on the jets for the TD. I think he just dropped the microphone.

I love when he rumbas up the middle. He does this thing where he reach the LOS, and shuffles to the side. It could get him in trouble in the NFL, but he always seems to get to the hole when he shuffles to the left or right when there is nothing (6:25). You get two great examples of his quick feet in that shuffle cut. Though the second one was more of a hop cut.

Here is another nice block in pass pro. He sticks his shoulder right into Garrett's gut and stops him cold. That is not easy to do (6:50). Huge clutch run here. He has his shadow in the endzone, and two blitzers charging right up the gut and into his face. He might have the best eyes of any RB in this Draft (7:28). Watch the decisive decision as soon as he has the ball, he is rampaging outside, and flashing past the two DTs in the backfield. He turned a TFL into a 1st down again.

That is how you run the clock out in the 4th quarter, with three straight 1st down runs (8:01). Here is another nice blitz pickup. The middle linebacker comes up to pick him up, and he knocks him back a yard. Though the MLB then makes the play (8:35). He doesn't always look like he knows what he is doing in pass pro, but sometimes he still makes it work (8:46). He steps up between the OLG and OLT, where the linebacker is blitzing, but he gets stuffed. The QB takes off, and he gets in his way. But then he regains his senses, and makes a great block. He spots Garrett coming over, and he hits him and the MLB with a nice block. This allows his QB to get four more yards.

They run a little Draw to try and slow the rush a little. He has great eyes, and a great burst when he sees an open lane. He spots the open green outside, and bursts outside like a wild hog on fire (9:14). He does it again. He uses his great eyes and feet to find the lane and run through it (9:29). 3rd and 1 with the game on the line (9:42). And he does what he does. He tries to spin past the DT in the backfield who blew the play up, but gets caught. However, he still has the power and agility to get the 1st.

Look at this defensive formation. There is not an Aggie on the field who doesn’t know Collins is getting the ball. He heads to the left. Watches his FB's block, and then cuts off his back for four yards, and then falls forward for two more (10:04). He tries to cut the Strongside DE. He doesn't bring him down, but stops his rush (10:15). Again, 10-Aggies in the Box looking for Collins (10:25). Watch this nice blitz pick up. He has to learn to grab some shirt after the hit. He creams the MLB, but allows him to bounce off and find a lane to the QB.

Collins Vs A&M 2015:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTGrL3_oP7A

 

 

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Collins Official Bio:

Junior (2015):
Doak Walker Award Semifinalist … Earned preseason All-SEC second team honors from the coaches, media, Phil Steele and Athlon … Named to the Maxwell Award Watch List, given annually to the nation’s top college football player.
Sophomore (2014):
Started twice at running back and played in 13 games … Finished the season with 1,100 rushing yards on 204 carries, marking back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons … Joined Darren McFadden as the only Razorbacks to ever begin their careers with back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons … The 1,100 rushing yards, along with Jonathan Williams (1,190), gave the Razorbacks their first pair of 1,000-yard rushers since 2007 (Darren McFadden, Felix Jones) … Williams and Collins were the only FBS teammates to each rush for 1,000-plus yards in the 2014 season … Ranked fifth in the conference in rushing yards per game (84.6) and total rushing yards (1,100) … Tied Williams for a team-leading 12 rushing touchdowns, good for fourth in the conference and 36th in the nation … Teamed with Williams to become the first Arkansas running back duo to collect 10-plus rushing touchdowns since Darren McFadden (16) and Felix Jones (11) … Moved into the No. 14 spot on the program’s all-time rushing yards chart with 2,126 yards … Pegged No. 15 in Arkansas’ single-season rushing rankings … at No. 6 Auburn (Aug. 30): Rushed for 68 yards on 10 carries and added one reception for five yards … vs. Nicholls (Sept. 6): Ran for 132 yards on 13 carries and tallied three touchdowns in the first half in Arkansas’ 73-7 win … at Texas Tech (Sept. 13): Earned SEC Offensive Player of the Week and Maxwell Award Player of the Week after recording a career-best 212 rushing yards on a career-high 27 carries and found the end zone twice, including a career-long 84-yard rushing touchdown in the final frame of the Razorbacks’ road non-conference victory … vs. No. 6 Texas A&M (Sept. 27): Posted his third 100-yard rushing game, running 21 times for 131 yards and broke through for a 50-yard touchdown run in the second quarter … at No. 1 Mississippi State (Nov. 1): Ran for 93 yards on 16 carries and eclipsed the double-digit touchdown plateau with a score against the top-ranked Bulldogs … vs. No. 20 LSU (Nov. 15): Rushed 16 times for 46 yards and a touchdown in the first quarter of Arkansas’ rout of the Tigers … vs. No. 8 Ole Miss (Nov. 22): Posted a 23-carry, 79-yard performance, highlighted by a touchdown in the first quarter of the Razorbacks’ 30-0 shutout over the Rebels … at No. 17 Missouri (Nov. 29): Eclipsed the 1,000 rushing yard mark for the second consecutive season with 59 yards on the ground against the Tigers … vs. Texas (Dec. 29): Racked-up 76 rushing yards in Arkansas’ Advocare V100 Texas Bowl victory over the Longhorns.
Freshman (2013):
Named SEC Freshman of the Year, a Freshman All-American and to the SEC All-Freshman Team … Became the first freshman in SEC history to begin career with three straight 100-yard rushing games and the first true freshman in FBS since Oklahoma’s Adrian Peterson in 2004 … Became the second freshman in school history, 10th true freshman in SEC history and 68th true freshman in NCAA history to reach 1,000 rushing yards, finishing the season with 1,026 on 190 carries with four touchdowns … Added 63 yards on 11 receptions for a team-high 1,089 all-purpose yards … Teamed with Jonathan Williams to produce Arkansas’ second pair of teammates to each rush for at least 900 yards in the season … Four 100-yard rushing games ranked second in school history among freshmen and tied for second in the nation for 2013 freshmen … Named to Phil Steele’s Midseason All-SEC Third Team … Led all NCAA freshmen in rushing yards and ranked seventh in the SEC with an average of 85.5 rushing yards per game … Ranked 14th in the NCAA, first among freshmen, with 382 rushing yards against ranked opponents … Ranked second in the SEC and 13th in the country with 355 4th-quarter rushing yards, and nine rushes of 10-plus yards in the 4th quarter tied for first in the SEC and for 19th in the country … Sixteen rushes of 10-plus yards on 2nd down tied for the conference lead and for 10th in the nation, ranked fourth in the conference and tied for 29th in the country with 25 1st-down rushes on 2nd down … vs. Louisiana (Aug. 31): Debuted as a Razorback with 131 yards on 21 carries, becoming the first Arkansas freshman to top 100 rushing yards in collegiate debut since Felix Jones in 2005 … vs. Samford (Sept. 7): Rushed for 172 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries, earning SEC Freshman of the Week accolades … vs. Southern Miss (Sept. 14): Earned the conference’s Freshman of the Week nod again the next week after a 25-carry, 115-yard, one-touchdown performance… vs. No. 10 Texas A&M (Sept. 28): Topped 100 yards again, finishing the game with 116 yards and one touchdown on 14 carries plus one four-yard reception … at No. 18 Florida (Oct. 5): Led Arkansas in rushing and receiving with 54 yards on 13 carries and 45 yards on five catches … vs. No. 14 South Carolina (Oct. 12): Rushed 10 times for 69 yards and one touchdown and caught one six-yard pass … vs. No. 8 Auburn (Nov. 2): Gained 92 yards on 18 carries … at Ole Miss (Nov. 9): Collected 57 yards rushing on 10 carries and also caught two passes … at No. 15 LSU (Nov. 29): Eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark.
High School:
Ranked as the No. 1 running back in the country, No. 5 prospect in Florida and No. 17 overall in the nation by 247Sports.com … Tabbed as the No. 3 running back in the nation by Scout.com and as the No. 20 overall prospect in Florida and No. 13 running back in the country by Rivals.com … Rushed for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior despite missing three games due to injury, helping South Plantation High School to nine wins, the district title and a berth in the 8A state playoffs … Selected to play in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl following his senior season, teaming-up with fellow UA signee Austin Allen … Named Broward County Player of the Year as a junior after rushing for 1,786 yards and 28 touchdowns as the Paladins earned seven victories and qualified for the state playoffs … Coached by Doug Gatewood … Also played lacrosse and ran the third leg on South Plantation’s state-champion 4×100 relay … Named the 2013 Broward County Male Athlete of the Year … Picked Arkansas over Miami, Florida State, Florida and Wisconsin.

 

 

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