Bears

NFL Draft Profile: LSU CB Jalen Collins

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NFL Draft Profile: LSU CB Jalen Collins

As part of our coverage leading up to the 2015 NFL Draft we will provide profiles of 200 prospects, including what the scouts around the league are saying and video interviews with each player.

Jalen Collins (CB), LSU

6’1” | 203 lbs.

2014 stats:

38 tackles, 1 INT

Selection:

2nd round, No. 42 overall (Atlanta Falcons)

What scouts are saying:

"Immensely talented cornerback who brings the entire triangle (height, weight, speed) with him. Still learning technique and how to sink his feet with his eyes, but the instincts and athleticism to make plays on the ball both short and deep are what set him apart. Collins is a work in progress, but his physical and play traits create a very high ceiling if he continues to learn to play the position." - Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

"Struggles with his backpedal at times as he tends to get too high and on his heels, resulting in poor reaction time, particularly vs smaller/quicker receivers. This really showed vs. Amari Cooper in the '14 Alabama tape. Doesn't deliver much power or jolt when in press man coverage and gives easy releases too often. Very inexperienced player in terms of reps as a starter. Likely won't be able to step in right away as a starter, but can develop into one with time." - Brandon Thorn, CBSSports.com

"Rare combination of height, weight and speed. Has the foot quickness and twitch to trigger on demand. Uses soft, bouncy feet to change direction and drive instantly on throws. Has arm length to play from trail position and still knock passes away. Desired awareness in zone with extended playmaking range. Will make plays outside of his area and has speed to come across field to chase down a loose running back or receiver. Able to redirect from press coverage and will only get better with more coaching. Leaper with the ability to challenge and win 50/50 throws. Buys in and does his part in run support." - Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

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Brian Baldinger: 'I'm not so sure anybody could've seen the jump that Mitch Trubisky is making right now'

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USA TODAY

Brian Baldinger: 'I'm not so sure anybody could've seen the jump that Mitch Trubisky is making right now'

On Thursday, Brian Baldinger released another video clip on Twitter for his #BaldysBreakdowns series, this one praising the recent play from Bears QB Mitch Trubisky.

Baldinger states that Trubisky is "making some kind of jump", referring to how impressed he was with Trubisky's play when compared to his rookie season. 

In the video Baldinger explains in the video how you expect franchise QBs to make a big leap from year one to year two, and a big part of that leap for Trubisky is being unafraid to make aggressive throws downfield.

Baldinger highlighted a play where Trubisky hit Taylor Gabriel 47-yards down the field, choosing to trust his wideout after he hit him with perfect ball placement despite tight coverage. He continued this theme later on in the video, showing Trubisky's TD strike to Allen Robinson, which was whipped right past a Dolphins defender. 

But Baldinger's video wasn't exclusively compliments for Trubisky. He discussed Tarik Cohen's effectiveness as a pass-catcher, saying that you "can't cover him" and comparing him to a Ferrari with his ability to go from first to fifth gear "about as fast as anybody."

He ended his video by showing Trubisky punishing the Dolphins for a blown coverage, hitting rookie Anthony Miller in stride for a 29-yard TD. Baldinger's point in including this clip was to show Trubisky's improved recognition, as he may not have spotted the blown coverage last year. Noticing when and how to take advantage of defensive sloppiness is one of the many things that seperate a "franchise QB" from a stopgap, and Trubisky is trending in the right direction. 

If Baldinger's breakdown is any indication, we should expect Trubisky to keep his incredible momentum rolling when the Bears take on the New England Patriots on Sunday. New England is 3rd worst in the league in passing TDs allowed, giving up 15 scores through the air in six games. 

NFC North standings: Bears’ division lead on life support after loss to Dolphins

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USA TODAY

NFC North standings: Bears’ division lead on life support after loss to Dolphins

A tie is all that separates the Bears from the rest of the NFC North division. Chicago’s Week 6 loss to the Miami Dolphins dropped the team to 3-2, which just barely leaves them in first place.

Because the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings tied in Week 2, they sit just behind the Bears at 3-2-1 in the division. The Week 5 bye week also kept Chicago a little bit ahead, but they’re only a game away from dropping down to third.

They still control their own destiny, but Matt Nagy will need an upset win over the New England Patriots on Sunday to maintain their leading position. The Packers are on a bye week, so they would assume first place if the Bears lose.

The Vikings take on the New York Jets for a chance to take sole possession of the NFC North crown, but Chicago is guaranteed to stay ahead of the Detroit Lions, who also have a bye week.

These early season losses are tough on a Bears team trying to grow a division lead before they take on their NFC North foes midseason. The bigger cushion they can build now, the more wiggle room they’ll have when they face the Lions, Vikings and Lions back-to-back-to-back in November.