After trading out of the first round on Thursday night, the Patriots used their first of two picks in the second round to select Southern Mississippi linebacker Jamie Collins.
Collins (6-foot-3, 250 pounds) was productive during his four-year career with the Golden Eagles, and he capped it off with a terrific senior season. He posted 92 tackles, 10 sacks and — here’s the key — five pass breakups in 2012.
His production was impressive, but Collins really enticed teams with a stellar workout at the NFL combine. He is something of a workout freak, running a 4.64 40-yard dash, jumping 41.5 inches in the vertical and 139 inches in the broad jump.
The Patriots’ linebackers struggled in coverage last season, and that is an area where Collins clearly excels. His speed, athleticism and pure instincts make him a terrific addition, and one more than capable of blanketing tight ends and slot receivers out in space.
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