Jalen Collins was a second round pick in the Ra'Shede Hageman mold: A high-upside selection who was no lock to contribute in his rookie season. I don't think any of us foresaw just how poorly that rookie season would proceed, but it does little to dampen my long-term hopes for him.
Onward, to the roster review.
A slow first year
A combination of limited readiness, an injury heading into the year, and limited opportunities for playing time meant a mediocre start for Collins. When he did get on the field, Collins mixed a handful of quality stretches with some poor coverage, which is a disappointing thing to see from a rookie second rounder.
Given the way he was playing catch up, this isn't overly surprising, however. I imagine most of us would like to see the Falcons use their high round picks on players who are immediate contributors. If Collins pays off the way Dan Quinn and company would like him to, we won't complain too much about the slow start.
Collins is under contract through the 2018 season, with cap hits under $2 million each year. It's very reasonable, particularly if Collins gets his feet under him in the near future.
Collins won't be relied upon to have a major role in 2017, but the coaching staff is going to push him to get on the field and contribute, and he has the talent necessary to make a splash. With Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford in front of him, Collins should be no more than the third cornerback on the depth chart, and another year of development should position him to become a starter in 2018. With any luck, he'll make a huge leap this year.