FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Patriots' selection of Southern Mississippi defensive end/outside linebacker Jamie Collins adds another explosive athlete to the front seven, both as a potential pass-rusher and coverage player.
At 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds, Collins is considered a top athlete by analysts. He had 10 sacks in his final season at Southern Mississippi and is also viewed to be strong in coverage.
Collins, who had a 41.5-inch vertical leap, joins 2012 first-round draft choices Chandler Jones and Donta' Hightower as highly touted additions to the Patriots' front seven over the last two drafts. While he appears to be an "edge" player, first and foremost, he has the billing of a versatile talent who can fill multiple roles. With the Patriots playing 57 percent of their snaps in sub defense last season, Collins could help in a variety of spots, not to mention special teams.
The Pro Football Weekly draft preview dubbed Collins as a "developmental talent who could blossom with the right veteran guidance."
This is one piece of the Patriots' overall draft puzzle, and few can argue with the idea of improving the pass rush and overall pass defense. The Patriots made a similar second-round selection in 2010 with Florida's Jermaine Cunningham (53rd), and they obviously hope the selection of Collins (52nd overall) produces better results.