The Saints are taking a look at one of the draft’s fastest climbers.
LSU cornerback Jalen Collins spent some time with New Orleans’ defensive backs coach Wesley McGriff at Friday’s pro day and left with the impression that the team has a good amount of interest in him.
“They said they’re highly interested,” Collins said. “Talked to (McGriff), he said he likes big corners and he likes what he saw from the combine.”
Collins did not take part in any drills on Friday. It was discovered at the combine that he had the start of a Jones fracture and he recently had to have a screw inserted into his foot. He does not believe the injury will hurt his draft stock and expects to be sidelined for only a few weeks.
Even though Collins ran a 4.48 40-yard dash at the combine with the injury, he missed the opportunity to further impress the Saints, who had most of the members of their staff in attendance Friday. The only notable absences were coach Sean Payton and linebackers coach Joe Vitt, who were working out players at Texas Christian University.
If the Saints were to select Collins, he would be behind Keenan Lewis and Brandon Browner on the depth and would have to win a job as the third cornerback, serving in nickel packages. He said he covered the slot often in practice and believes he could do the job at the next level.
But he did admit that there are some differences from playing on the outside.
“Major difference on the outside to the inside, is you don’t really get to use your hands as much,” Collins said. “Slot receivers are usually off the ball. You kind of got to be more aware of the intermediate routes because they got more space.”
Collins said he has upcoming visits scheduled with the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars.