Jalen Collins’ meteoric offseason rise continued at the NFL scouting combine with a strong performance in Monday’s off-field work.
The LSU cornerback ran a 4.48-second time in the 40-yard dash, then jumped a respectable 36 inches in the vertical jump and 124 inches in the broad jump. While he was putting together that performance, NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah tweeted that Collins was “making a lot of” money with his showing.
When Collins submitted his name to the NFL advisory committee after the season, he was advised to return to school. He disregarded that advice and decided to enter the draft.
So far, it’s paying off.
Many mock drafts have him projected to go in the first round, and his performance Monday might have helped. But if combine results mean anything, Collins’ stock might have taken a hit during on-field work.
Going through drills, he struggled to catch the ball, and it almost appeared as if he were batting them down. The television broadcast picked up a coach telling him that he wasn’t playing volleyball.
But thanks to his size, measurables and coverage skills, Collins is certain to make that recommendation look foolish once the draft comes.
Here’s a look at how some other local prospects performed:
Linebacker Kwon Alexander: The LSU linebacker almost won the day among players at his position by running a 4.55-second 40-yard dash, placing him behind only Clemson’s Vic Beasley, who ran a 4.53. The 6-foot-1, 227-pound linebacker also had good showings in the vertical jump (36 inches) and broad jump (10 feet, 1 inch). Considering his size — or lack thereof — Alexander needed to prove he was a solid athlete. He accomplished that.
Defensive end Danielle Hunter: He’s another prospect some felt entered the draft prematurely, but he helped his cause by running a 4.57 40-yard dash. The former LSU standout’s fate will be determined when teams get a closer look at him and determine how raw he truly is.
Running back Terrence Magee: Passing on the 40-yard dash, Magee did not place as a top finisher in the bench press, vertical jump, broad jump or 20-yard shuttle. He is set to run at LSU’s Pro Day on March 27.
Running back Kenny Hilliard: You can count on Hilliard also taking advantage of LSU’s Pro Day. The running back ran a 4.83 40-yard dash and did not finish among the top performers in any of the drills. Considering there were questions about his speed coming in, he’ll need to perform better in March to improve his draft stock.
Offensive lineman La’el Collins: Running a 5.12-second 40-yard dash is impressive when you’re 6-foot-4 and weigh 305 pounds. So it’s fair to say the former LSU lineman had a solid week. He also looked good in positional drills, flashing good agility. He measured in with an 82-inch wingspan at the Senior Bowl. Nothing about his draft stock should have changed this week.
Cornerback Lorenzo Doss: The Tulane cornerback had a strong showing by running a 4.5-second time in the 40-yard dash. While Doss was going through on-field drills, NFL Network’s Mike Mayock commented about how Doss is proof that you can go to school anywhere and scouts will find you. Doss appeared to move well while on the field.
Quarterback Bryan Bennett: Southeastern Louisiana’s Bennett tested well in the athletic endeavors, placing second in the vertical (37 inches) and first in the broad jump (125 inches) among quarterbacks. What will determine his fate is how he interviewed and how he performs in workouts moving forward.
Nose tackle Deon Simon: The Northwestern State product was among the leaders at his position with 35 bench presses of 225 pounds. He ran a 5.12-second time in the 40-yard dash, solid for a man of his stature.