NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It's not a particularly top heavy draft in the secondary, especially at the safety position. Still, Landon Collins will likely be the first defensive back taken in the 2015 NFL Draft. The Alabama safety probably won't climb draft boards all the way to number two overall, but if the Titans were to trade down, he could be a prime candidate for two-tone blue.
Thus, he is just as important to break down as we continue our '10 for 2' series.
Landon Collins, S (Alabama)**
Collins led the Crimson Tide with 103 tackles (4.5 for a loss) as a junior in 2014. His three interceptions were tied for the team lead and he also added one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. At season's end, Collins was named first team AP All-American and first team All-SEC selection by the conference's coaches and the AP.
Draft experts have him as the consensus top safety this year. Matt Miller has Collins ranked 12th on his overall draft board, 16 spots higher than the next safety – Gerod Holliman of Louisville who sits at 28.
Alabama has produced two talented safeties in recent years, Mark Barron (seventh overall in 2012 to Tampa Bay) and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (21st overall in 2014 to the Packers ). Collins might just be better than both.
Miller:** "I think Landon Collins is by far the best safety in the class. He's versatile. I think he's a strong safety, but I've seen him at times at Alabama play off the ball, playing center field and attacking the ball. He's a hitter, but he also has hands which is pretty rare. To be his size at 215 pounds but with range, with speed, with instincts, I think he's going to be a high level starter."
Needs to Show:
Miller: "I think he's going to have to prove that he can run with receivers down the field if he is put in matchup situations – whether it's with a receiver in the slot or an athletic tight end coming out of the line. I want to see him prove that he can turn and run and has the speed to play at the next level."
NFL Comparison: Harrison Smith (Vikings)
Miller: "I compare him to Harrison Smith, who I think is underrated with the Vikings. He is truly a three-down safety who is a matchup problem for offenses."