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Nick Saban doesn't understand how Landon Collins slid to the Giants

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Alabama coach praises former Crimson Tide safety.

Alabama coach Nick Saban
Alabama coach Nick Saban
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Alabama head coach Nick Saban has held that same job in the NFL, but Saban still doesn't understand how the league works sometimes. Take the case of New York Giants rookie safety Landon Collins.


"I cannot for the life of me think why he would slide in the draft," Saban said Thursday on Sirius XM NFL Radio about Collins, the safety the Giants traded up to select with the first pick of the second round.

"He's a fine person. He's got no character issues. He's played on some really good defensive teams and has been a great leader, so I don't get it. But I don't know all that goes on there. Sometimes when you get all the information, it is what it is and people ought to just go with that rather than trying to read something into something that really isn't there."

The Giants, of course, got the former Alabama safety with the first pick of the second round, trading up from 40 to get him. The Giants gave the Tennessee Titans fourth- and seventh-round picks to make the move. Saban doesn't believe his former player should have been available to the Giants at that point.

"I see this happen just about every year in the draft where there's something that gets put out there about somebody, and it like spreads like wild fire through every team as if they know something that we don't know," Saban continued. "The bottom line is that's why guys get drafted high and they're not very good and other guys that are really, really good players like Landon Collins, who has been very productive, has great speed, great size, very physical player, has got really good ball skills, can play in the deep part of the field. For a safety, he's a good man-to-man player and can match up on some people because of his size and speed."

In our poll asking which was your favorite draft pick by the Giants, the selection of Collins led the way with 57 percent (1,564) of 2,749 votes cast. In my view, our voters got this one right. Provided he stays healthy, the move up for Collins is one the Giants will end up very, very happy with.

The Green Bay Packers made Damarious Randall the first safety chosen with the 30th pick in the first round. Having watched several of the Randall cuts available at Draft Breakdown, I still don't understand the fascination with the guy. I see a guy who doesn't want to tackle, too often takes poor angles in run support and surrenders too many big plays for a guy who should be patrolling center field.

I don't claim to be a film analyst or a scout. In my view, though, I will be very surprised if Collins doesn't have a better NFL career than Randall. In fact, I will be surprised if Collins doesn't have a better NFL career than 8-10 of the players selected ahead of him in the first round.

The Giants were surprised to find themselves in a position where Collins was available on Day 2.

"Throughout the week he was - you kind of think in your mind (in the) second round who is going to be around and you discount certain guys," said vice president of player evaluation Marc Ross. "You just put them away. He was one of those guys that we thought would be gone, so we weren't really thinking he would be around the second go around."

"We thought it was in our interest to be aggressive to go after the safety in light of our safety situation, to get a very good player who can compete for that job," said general manager Jerry Reese.

The view from here is it's a move they won't regret.