NFP Prospect Focus: Jalen Collins and Danielle Hunter

Every year, LSU is loaded with NFL Draft prospects. This year is no different as there as they may have as many as six of their players drafted. I have already written up a number of those players but two that I haven’t, I left for the end, waiting to see what would happen with their stock. Six weeks ago, it looked as if corner Jalen Collins was a certain first round pick. While he still may get drafted in the first, it’s no longer a lock because of foot surgery performed shortly after the Combine and reports of failed drug tests while he was a student at LSU. Defensive end Danielle Hunter has had rapidly rising stock with his excellent workouts at the Combine, the LSU pro day, and in private workouts. Going into the Combine, I felt Hunter who has ‘tweener' size was a late third to early fourth round pick. Now he may go as high as the second round. Jalen Collins – DC – LSU 6013 – 199 – 4.45 Collins is a fourth year junior who elected to enter the draft while still having college eligibility remaining. He red shirted as a true freshman in 2011 and played as a backup with one start in 2012. Over the past two seasons, Jalen had nine starts and played both as the third corner or the starter. Strong Points – At 6013 – 199 with 32” arms, he has excellent NFL corner size. He is a very smooth athlete with loose hips and excellent speed. He can stay low in his pedal, turn quickly, and has an excellent burst out of his pedal. He transitions very quickly with no false steps. He has shown he can play press, zone, or off and is very good when playing press. He reacts well to the ball in the air and has good hands. He is willing in run support and can shed blocks. Weak Points – It’s bothersome that a player with his physical traits hasn’t started more games. He needs to add some bulk and strength. He only has three career interceptions. He can have a tendency of giving a receiver too much cushion when in off coverage and will miss some tackles. Failed drug tests early in his career are a concern. He recently underwent foot surgery. Summation – When you look at the raw talent, Jalen can be as good a corner as there is in this draft. With his height and length, he can be perfect to matchup against the taller receivers in the league. He has shown in flashes that he can do everything you want a corner to do. He needs to settle down and mature so he is able to reach his full potential. The foot surgery may force him to miss some OTA’s, but he should be ready for camp. Because of the failed drug tests, he may drop into the second round, but he is a first round talent. Danielle Hunter – DE/OLB – LSU 6052 – 251 – 4.57 Hunter played down as a DE while at LSU, but with his size and excellent athleticism, many of the 3-4 teams are looking at him as an OLB. He showed at his pro day and in private workouts that he should be able to make the transition. Strong Points – He has excellent height and length to play defensive end in the NFL. He has 34.25” arms and tested out as one of the most athletic defensive lineman at the Combine and the LSU pro day. He ran 4.57, had a 20 yard shuttle time of 4.47, a 3-cone of 6.95, a 36.5” vertical jump, and a 10’10” long jump. He also did 25 reps of 225 which is equivalent to a 400 pound bench press. He is a competitive guy who plays hard every down. He has shown he can make plays. Weak Points – He needs to add bulk in order to hold up as a defensive end in the NFL. He has good OLB size. His pass rush production doesn’t match his pass rush talent (7.0 sacks). He lacks top instincts and is more of a reactor. He has never played on his feet on a game situation and needs to finish better Summation – A player whose stock is on the rise. Not too many players have his athletic traits. While he is competitive and plays hard, he hasn’t made enough plays and instincts may be the issue. He has reportedly done very well in private workouts, and there are many coaches who are high on him. He has an unlimited upside given his rare traits. Don’t be shocked if he goes in the second round! Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe

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