Next Man Up: Jamie Collins Comes Into Focus

Derek Havens
October 16, 2013 at 01:40pm ET

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Patriots rookie linebacker Jamie Collins will take on a larger role with Jerod Mayo out for the season.
(USA TODAY Images)

Some background information on New England Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins.

Name: Jamie Collins

Position: Linebacker

School: Southern Miss

Experience: Rookie

Height: 6 - 3

Weight: 250

Strengths:

- Long, lean, athletic frame

- Very good pass rusher

- Possesses quick feet and long strides to help get after quarterbacks or ball carriers; short area quickness

- Excellent block shedding ability, good hand traits

- knocks receivers at line of scrimmage; former defensive back, has hips to cover

-  Incredible athlete. Combine top performer in 40-yard dash (4.64), vertical jump (41.5 in), broad jump (139 in), 3 cone drill (7.10 sec), 60-yard shuffle (11.55 sec)

Weaknesses:

- Needs to get stronger, gain weight

- Ineffective against double teams

- Can get lost in zone coverage, has trouble with quick ball carriers

- Over-pursues and loses edge containment at times, gets caught staring in the backfield in coverage

Analysis:

The loss of Jerod Mayo is another big hit to the Patriots. Jamie Collins now is the next man up and will help replace Mayo moving forward. Collins has a lot of quality traits and had a strong preseason.

With Brandon Spikes in the middle, Dont'a Hightower on the strongside, I expect Collins to slide into Mayo's spot and attempt to fill his shoes. Hightower should become the defensive signal-caller with the green dot on the back of his helmet. Dane Fletcher should also see an increase in snaps and work-in as he's done at times this season.

Collins' athleticism and frame are very intriguing. He is a swiss-army knife type of player and is extremely versatile. I'm really intrigued with him as a rush linebacker or possibly even along the defensive line like he did in college. In any case, we'll see how he handles the increased workload and responsibility as the season goes on.

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