Dynasty Draft Profile: Alex Collins
March 3, 2016 | Rich Hribar
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Rich knocked the cobwebs off the Dynasty HQ and strong armed me to help out with The Fake Football’s Dynasty Draft Profiles again for the 2016 class. If you weren’t along for the ride last season, you can see how we break down incoming rookies here.
Reebs kicked off the 2016 profile pillaging with Pitt’s, Tyler Boyd and I’ll try my hand at Arkansas running back, Alex Collins. I know, the name reeks of ‘sexy.’
Heading into the 2015 college tilt, the Arkansas running back I thought would be coveting in 2016 rookie drafts was Jonathan Williams. Williams led the Razorback rushing attack in 2014, narrowly edging out teammate, Collins 1190-1100 yards. I preferred Williams slightly solely based on pass catching acumen, as I believed Collins was the Turner to Williams, Hooch, in the run game.
Unfortunately, Williams’ final collegiate season never began, injuring his foot in August, keeping him out for the entire 2015 season. Collins, on the other hand, carpe diem’d that ish by turning in one of the best seasons for a running back in Razorback history. Although the name isn’t as sexy as an Ezekiel Elliott or Derrick Henry, Collins has both the build and resume working for him as the NFL draft approaches.
Perhaps the most impressive feather in Collins’ cap being one of only three running backs in SEC history to have run for 1000+ yards in three straight seasons – Herschel Walker and Darren McFadden being the other two (per ESPN stats and stuff).
As we’re striving to keep these near a reading time worthy of potty time, let’s dive into some GIFs, courtesy of the amazing guys over at draftbreakdown.com, of course.
Collins has great spacial awareness and can bounce it to the outside when needed. He has impressive instincts as a runner and will punish defenses that are out of position/undisciplined:
Collins’ combine didn’t include any of the agility drills, but I suspect he’d be in the upper tier with height/weight adjustments. For a back his size, Collins’ jump cuts are his bread and butter, as he loses very little acceleration through the move :
What I really like about Collins is the constant moving of his feet. Whether he’s waiting for a hole to open, setting up a block or simply someone in his immediate path, he keeps churning and explodes up field once he makes his decision.
Here, Collins “sees hole, hits hole”… that’s what she… nevermind. Just watch:
When looking at running backs in fantasy, the masses tend to gravitate towards two key attributes: Pass catching ability and/or touchdown conversions. Since Collins doesn’t even get a whiff of the former, he definitely has a nose for the end zone – tied for sixth-most rushing touchdowns (20) in 2015 and has the third-most in Arkansas school history – McFadden (41) and, of course, James Rouse (39).
Like most running back prospects, Collins isn’t the most apt blocker in the pass game and does very little within the pass scheme to be an immediate three-down back in the NFL
Much like a running back I was very high on in 2015, Ameer Abdullah, Collins struggles with fumbles. Per CBS draft analyst, Dane Brugler, via his Twitter account:
RB prospect fumble rates:
The good: Ezekiel Elliott (162.5)
The bad: Alex Collins (43.3)
The rest: https://t.co/E8Hk5RtSjA
— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) March 2, 2016
I’d like to see Collins utilize his body a bit more and shed more tackles – show off his physicality. A 220-lb running back shouldn’t need to rely on making people miss as often as he does. His running style and physical makeup will help him improve that part of his game, but whether he has the mentality for it or not, remains to be seen
The verdict (for now)…
Currently, Collins is rated as the #3 running back prospect by CBS and is being drafted as the RB7 in Ryan McDowell’s rookie ADP drafts at DynastyLeagueFootball.com – was the consensus 1.12 pick and RB4 pre-combine.
As Collins descends into the mid-second round or lower, the risk vs cost of acquiring him minimizes. It was a bit rich to see Collins being drafted in the latter stages of the first round, but with his current price tag, it makes sense to take a shot given the names after Elliott and Henry. His immediate upside will be capped due to his lack of receiving ability, pass protection and the recurring cases of the yips, but I can see him as ‘closer’ in the right situation.
I remember two seasons ago seeing Collins being drafted as a ‘devy player’ in a few of my leagues and basically left for dead the following season… reminds me of one of my favorite later round running back picks, Karlos Williams, to an extent. What I mean by that is, if some of the most respected dynasty minds saw something in him two years ago, what did we, as a dynasty community, miss just one season later? Damn you, Jonathan Williams…