Recently, there’s been some hand-wringing among Seahawks fans over rookie Alex Collins’ production this preseason thus far, or his lack thereof. More specifically: 18 yards on nine carries.
As a freshman at Arkansas, Collins burst onto the scene to become the first freshman in SEC history to gain 300 yards in his first three games. He went on to finish the season with 1026 yards at 5.4 yards per carry. His follow-up campaign was more of the same, with 1100 yards at 5.4 yards per carry again. Then, in 2015, Collins shouldered even more of the team’s load, posting 1577 yards and 20 touchdowns on a clip of 5.8 yards per carry.
At 5’11” 217, Collins is not the biggest back, and his 4.59 forty-yard dash makes it quite clear that he also is not the fastest. Watch even his college highlight videos and both of those facts are quite clear.
What he does have, though, is exceptional footwork, uncanny balance, and a relentless lower body drive.
See how he cuts and hops from side to side, yet never seems to slow down his forward progress? If you ignore the defenders and surrounding chaos, it looks almost as if Collins is running cone drills at practice— and doing it well.
While elusive, he also brings a dogged determination to his game, displaying an absolute refusal at times to be brought down. I can talk all I want, but here is a fairly famous video clip of him actually doing just that.
Balance? He’s got that too
After he missed a block during last week’s preseason game, the usual “BUT HE CAN”T PASS BLOCK!!!” has surfaced on the message boards as a reason to doubt if he will make the team. While I cannot speak for his consistency, I can show you these (the first is against 4th round draft pick, Kwon Alexander, and the second is against 2nd-round draft pick, A’Shawn Robinson):
“Well, look how poorly he’s performed in all of 9 carries with a new team in the pros!” You say? Sure, he’s been stuffed quite a few times for no gain, including twice in a row in a short yardage situation. Yet, it seems as though we all suffer from selective short-term memory, as he also did this:
Where does he fit with the 2016 Seahawks:
Recently, many have speculated that he will be cut in favor of Troymaine Pope. I do not, however, believe that Collins will be cut from this team. Not only that, but I think he will push for real playing time early on, especially if Thomas Rawls is not is ready as we hoped or Christine Michael continues his yearly trend of disappearing after the preseason ends.
Alex Collins has consistently had sustained success at every level of football so far, and I do not see any reason to doubt that he will not continue with that.