The ultra-plugged-in Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is perhaps best know for his general manager and scout surveys that come out just prior to the draft. Decision makers from around the league leak info on different players and positions groups. The articles are considered to be some of the most reliable predraft reporting every year.
McGinn let loose some of that info in his Falcons scouting report ahead of Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers, and it doesn’t paint CB Jalen Collins in a particularly favorable light.
Two years ago, the defensive coaches didn’t want to draft cornerback Jalen Collins but GM Thomas Dimitroff and assistant GM Scott Pioli selected him anyway. If the Falcons slip after a fast start, Dimitroff and Pioli could take the fall and Quinn might be able to hire his own personnel man.
The Teflon Don-mitroff has been able to keep his job after countless screw ups, and McGinn strongly suggests he’s still on the hot seat. If Quinn and Co. didn’t want Collins, that seat is likely to heat up even more.
We’ve been throwing the “b word” around here perhaps a bit haphazardly, but this news is troubling. Collins was a very risky player entering the draft with both character concerns and worries about his abilities. He has ridiculous size and speed, but barely played at LSU thanks to inconsistency and some failed drug tests.
Every player is a risk, but a player like Collins needs a coaching staff that is dedicated to getting him up to NFL quality. He played occasionally last season, but tested positive for PEDs and was suspended the first four games of the season. He spent two games inactive and one more playing only special teams.
Collins is still a work in progress, but has been unable to beat out UDFA Brian Poole for playing time. That may be in part because the coaching staff did not want anything to do with him. If the staff isn’t bought in on his potential and ability, there is almost zero chance he can become a contributor. The Falcons have gotten no impact from Collins, and it looks like that won’t change anytime soon.
Update: Per D. Orlando Ledbetter, Dan Quinn denied the report.
"100 percent false," according to Coach Dan Quinn. https://t.co/SrxsE9GsxE— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@DOrlandoAJC) October 27, 2016
It could be true and Quinn wanted Collins, but considering he was asked about a player still on the roster and a general manager he still works with, there wasn’t a whole lot he could potentially say. At the same time, this is now a he-said, she-said situation. We will see what the team does with Collins from here on out, and might shed some light on the truth of the matter. The next few weeks should help us understand whether Collins is in the team’s long-term plans.