Landon Collins: Future Houston Texan?


It’s apparent to everyone that the Houston Texans hold in their arsenal some of the bulkiest, most athletically stunning, and scariest defenders. Opponent’s are already intimidated by this. Vince Wilfork, Brian Cushing, J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney are all defensive players that will be making a huge push against opponents, and putting a real scare into them.

Notice anything about those names brought up? All lineman. None of those names touch into the secondary. In fact, I dare anyone who is a casual NFL fan to name a Texans secondary player other than D.J. Swearinger. It really seems like the Texans secondary has been neglected, and not had as many resources pumped into it in recent years, as the defensive line has.

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Picking up Rahim Moore was huge, and a big reason why the secondary will be better this year than last. However, it still seems as if the secondary lacks a certain zeal and explosiveness that the defensive line has, that it would be really great to see.

Richard Sherman and Darrelle Revis are two of the most explosive, and most statistically impressive secondary players of recent history. Outspoken, yes, but their explosive style of play has shown us the importance of interceptions, broken up passes, and a shut down defense. It’s recognized, partially due to these players, as one of the most important components of a football team.

So, after years of pumping numerous resources into the defensive line, both money, time, and draft picks, I believe it’s time to shift that back to the secondary. One player shines well above the rest, when it comes to looking at draft options.

Alabama’s Landon Collins has really proved himself to scouts this offseason. As notes, Collins is a very good secondary run defender, limiting backs to the sideline. He’s also been recognized as a great open field tackler as well.

The biggest problem with Collins has been his hand size. While he’s had many opportunities at interceptions, he’s been known to drop several of them, which has been attributed to his “average” hand size. put out a deep analysis of Collins. Quoting Todd McShay of ESPN, they also were able to find some big positives to gain about his size, but yet, speedy skill set:

"“With Collins there are some limitations in man-to-man but he has really good range in deep zone coverage. He supports the run hard and has very good ball skills. When you look at Combine numbers, it was pretty impressive what he was able to do…he almost has Will linebacker size!”"

Also included in the Texans in depth review of Collins was a critique on his backpedal. Collins has had issues with not getting deep with a backpedal, forcing him to turn his body away from the play often, rendering his sight somewhat useless at times. Although this is definitely an issue, it’s a correctable one. It’s easy for NFL coaches to work with players on a backpedal. There certainly could be much worse issues to bring along with Collins.

My point is this: The Texans should be looking for secondary help, and Collins is one of the best safeties available this year. With his draft stock falling, he could be a huge steal for the team if he can make some very minor corrections. I believe Collins could be worth the shot.

With Collins having the size of a small linebacker, he’s proved that he’s a versatile secondary defender. He can come in to make tackles on running plays and against explosive receivers. While some have limited themselves to using the sideline as a tackle grade, he has also shown he’s a great open field tackler.

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