When the New York Giants made the unusually bold — for them — decision to move up to the top of the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft to select safety Landon Collins they hoped they were getting a player who would become a force in their secondary and a leader of their defense for years to come.
Two years into his career Collins is undoubtedly a force on the Giants’ defense, and seems well on his way to assuming a mantel of leadership, if he hasn’t done so already.
Let’s take a closer look at Collins as we continue our player-by-player profiles of the Giants’ 90-man roster.
2016 Season In Review
After an up-and-down rookie season that saw him start every game but not always play up the standards he or the Giants were hoping for, Collins went to work. He came back last season about a dozen pounds lighter, more knowledgeable about what he was doing and more confident as an NFL player.
The result? A fantastic All-Pro season that saw Collins earn All-Pro honors and find his name in the running for NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors.
NFL.com named Collins one of the league’s top five players of 2016. He was also named a Top 10 Breakout Player and an All-Pro by Pro Football Focus.
Statistically, Collins led the Giants with 125 tackles. That was 14th in the league overall. He had five interceptions, 13 passes defensed and four sacks. Collins’ nine tackles for loss was second in the league among safeties. His five “stuffs” were tied for second among safeties.
2017 Season Outlook
Collins is obviously not resting on his terrific sophomore season. He is not only attending the team’s OTAs, but on Thursday when there was media access he was jumping to the front of the line in individual drills, leading his fellow safeties by example.
At least one teammate has noticed a growing maturity about the 23-year-old Collins.
“He obviously had a great year last year, an All-Pro year. Seeing him come back with a sense of confidence and also a true knowledge of the playbook and the defense has been really awesome to see because sometimes when you have success early people maybe don’t go back in the offseason and look over their plays and stuff, but it’s been very evident that he has and he’s taking this year incredibly seriously and knows that we have a real shot at being a great defense and he’s a big part of that,” Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich said recently.”
As long as he stays healthy, Collins appears primed to continue his ascension as one of the league’s premier defensive players.
Collins recently visited with Pat Traina and I on the “Big Blue Chat” podcast. Give that a listen below.