Steelers 2013 Draft Prospect Profiles: OLB Jamie Collins – Southern Mississippi

Southern Mississippi linebacker Jamie Collins certainly turned a lot of heads this past week at the NFL combine and he most certainly could be a target of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first three rounds of the draft.

Collins, who measured in at 6034, 250 pounds, set a combine broad jump record while in Indianapolis with a leap of 11 feet, 7 inches. If that wasn\’t enough, he also posted a vertical jump of 41.5″. Just so know, the combine record is 42.5. As far as the 40 yard dash, Collins had a more than respectable time of 4.64.

Was Collins the 2013 version of the combine workout warrior? Almost. He was only able to do 19 reps on the bench and that will be a number that he will look to improve come his pro day. I will be looking for this dedication specifically. If he can do 23 or more, he might sneak into the second round.

So what about Collins on the field? For starters, he played the bandit position in his final two years at Southern Mississippi. This allowed him to play on both sides and play from both a down and stand up position. His production ratio in his final two season was great as he recorded 16.5 sacks over the course of those two years to go along with 39.5 tackles for loss. That\’s a production of 2.15.

Collins\’ 33 3/4 arms, the longest of all of the listed linebackers at the combine, are used well by him on the field as he is able to get them inside the chest of tackles and he easily discards blockers with them. He does, however, need to get stronger up top and in his hands, but this can easily be fixed at the next level. Collins is very athletic and possesses good balance, mobility and leverage.

As a pass rusher Collins does a good job at providing pressure and is usually mismatch for a running back or tight end that is asked to block him. He has a great bend and uses his speed to gain the corner.

Against the run Collins will get himself in trouble when he uses his shoulder instead of his hands to take on blockers. You will see him get washed out of the play when this happens. He uses his speed to his advantage when chasing down the line on the backside and he missed very few tackles in the cut-ups that I watched as he wraps up well with those long arms of his.

As far as his dropping ability goes, he is fluid with his motion out to the flat and he takes good angles. He had 13 total pass breakups in his final two seasons with some of those being at the line of scrimmage as he is good about getting his arms up.

Collins seems to play better on the left side and he needs to get more violent. His recognition also needs improvement at the next level as he succumbs to the outside-in crack back blocks at times. Like several others I have watched tape on, Collins needs to do a better job at protecting his legs against running backs that like to cut block. His motor is also inconsistent and I am sure teams asked him about that during the combine.

Collins is player that I firmly believe will be drafted somewhere in the third round. Can he sneak into the second round? I wouldn\’t rule it out with a few more teams switching to the 3-4 now.

Don\’t be surprised if he is one of the Steelers 30 pre draft visitors and I expect him to rack up a lot of air miles after his pro day.


    Dave, we need your expertise for a story on the salary cap crunch the Steelers face at KDKA-TV. Could you call the newsroom at 412-575-2245, help us out with the numbers?

  • steeltown

    Hmm.. not sure what to think of this guy. I give combine numbers no credence.

    It looks like one knock on him is he tends to tackle or hit with his shoulder and doesnt use his hands or arms enough… but that can be taught. I like the fact that we’re talking about a guy that actually stands up, he’s very athletic and he was productive despite the glaring lack of talent around him.

    No way I take him in the 2nd Rd though

  • HarryBackside

    I don’t see why I should like Mingo over Collins. Both are athletic freaks, but Collins is the only one has shown that he can play standing up, and that he can get to the QB

  • RW

    I’d be hard pressed to take anyone that can’t stand up to the run (unless they were just a tremendous pass rusher).

    Anyway, in my estimation the Steelers should trade out of the first round altogether. Their pick at 17 has great value, and they could grab an early 2nd, 3rd and 4th round pick for it according to draft trade tables (particularly if someone like Damontre Moore or J. Jones falls). If that were to happen, a reasonable draft to satisfy all of our needs might look something like this (post combine):

    2a) WR –Justin Hunter (Tenn)

    2b) NT – John Jenkins (Georgia)

    3a) G – Barrett Jones (Alabama)/Larry Warford (Kentucky)

    3b) TE – Travis Kelce (Cincinnati)

    4a) OLB – Brandon Jenkins (FSU)

    4b) RB – Andre Ellington (Clemson)

    5) QB – Zac Dysert (Miami(OH))

    6a) S – Ray Ray Armstrong (Miami U)

    6b) RB – Knile Davis (Arkansas)

    7) ILB – Vince Williams (FSU)

    One of the above two RBs should be competent as a kick returner. Even if we could only get two of the three draft picks in return for this one, I’d say it’d still be reasonable to get what we need out of the draft for the future. Would be one of our finer drafts I would think.

  • Jeff Johnson

    Steelers need one of the top 6 pass rushers that can play OLB and are projected to be drafted i n the first round. They have not drafted a difference maker at LB since Tomlin’s first year with the steelers. If they trade back or trade out, then they have less of a chance or NO chance on getting one of them. They should only trade back if all 6 are gone by their turn. Remember Rooney complaining about the lack of forcing turnovers the past 2 seasons? That’s because of a lack of a pass rush at the QB and also Harrison may be cut. The later round LB’s that they have drafted recently have not cut it for them. They need to take a big step here.

  • JohnnyV1

    Dave, I like where you’re heads at on this one. I was also impressed with Sio Moore from Connecticut. He kind of reminded me of James Harrison, not your prototypical build, same as Harrison. He’s currently stronger than Collins, and pretty close to the same speed. He got pretty solid reviews from the NFL Network commentators. Below is info copied from your combine results page for Sio Moore.

    Moore, Sio LB Connecticut 6006 245 33-5/8 4.65 1.62 29 38 10’07″4.3112.397.49

  • RW

    I would agree with you, but there are only a handful of OLBs in this draft that can come in and make an immediate difference. I think the lack of turnovers is also disturbing, and you are right to suggest that it has to do with the pass rush, but I don’t think they get a freak athlete at 17. I also think Worilds is going to develop into a solid OLB, which is why I’m not as concerned as many others. There are some weapons that we still need on offense, like a tall WR, an all-around TE, a RB and a reliable LG. Given the increasing importance of the offense in todays NFL (and particularly the skilled positions), I think we need to do our due diligence here. But, I wouldn’t be unhappy if we landed a Damontre Moore or Ezikiel Ansah. I think they could definitely make a huge difference on our team. I just think with all of the needs we have at other positions, this could be an important draft for collecting mid-to-upper-level talent at positions of need by trading back and acquiring picks.

  • steeltown

    I like Sio Moore

  • Jollyrob68

    Thanks for giving us a name to keep an eye on so we can do more research on the player.

  • steeltown


    If someone like Jordan, Moore or Ansah are there, you take em… but if not, trade back

    I think trading back into the 20’s and grabbing Eifert would be awesome, guys a freak and would be unstoppable with Heath and Eifert on the field at the same time with Brown and Sanders/Breaston/Cotchery

  • Jollyrob68

    I like your thinking but Kniles is going in the 2nd or 3rd round,

    If Miami want to come back into the first it would cost their two seconds & a 3rd. Miami has the picks to move back in with the steelers. I believe the drafts gold is in Rds 2-4.

    However after the combine I came away with a different outlook on what The Steelers need in first round.OFFENSE

    RD 1 Jonathan Cooper,Tavon Austin,Tyler Eifert (Offensive Power)

    RD1 (Defensive) Johnathan Banks (FS),Kenny Vacarro(FS) Desmond Trufant CB

    Banks 40 makes him a 1st rd Safety/2nd round CB. Steelers can trade down and still get Banks but I wouldn’t trade down in hopes of getting Austin. Take him at 17.

    JArvis Jones I think is going to Slip out of the first round due to medical. If he’s there in rd 2 the steelers will gamble on him. However I feel Worilds is the starter and the steelers can get an OLB in 3 or 4.

  • markthom

    Collins in 2nd would be great we dont need a DE in the 1st that is a damn project. Draft a player that played the position in college its not that hard. WR is deep we dont need to take a wr in the 1st that is ridiclulous

  • markthom

    exactly they want turnovers take an OLB or ILB or S @ 17 that. Jarvis Jones or Ogletree or Vaccaro

  • RW

    Some of the best OLBs in the league have been 4-3 hybrid DEs. Doesn’t mean we should take one, but you can’t teach freak athlete. I doubt Ansah is there when we pick, anyway, and Moore might not be the freak athlete everyone thought he was. WR in the first is not all that ridiculous, particularly if we want a tall one (>6’4″) that is polished and can come in and start immediately on obvious passing downs. Not many receivers in this class fit that profile, so no, it’s not ridiculous. Plus, most of those later round receivers are built from the same mould as Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders. We really don’t need another screen/short possession receiver that can run after the catch. We need a big bodied red zone target (not named Plaxico Burress). I’m still a fan of trading back to acquire additional picks, particularly because there is no reason to believe Worilds can’t do the job at this point (and, even if he can’t, there’s no way a rookie starts on this defensive front 7 anyway). If they do pick in the first round, I hope we take an ILB. That said, a WR would not be ‘ridiculous’, as you suggest, but smart if we want a reasonably large red zone target that can also run downfield and beat a CB between the 20’s.