Jan 11, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) throws a pass while being hit by New England Patriots outside linebacker Jamie Collins (91) during the third quarter of the 2013 AFC divisional playoff football game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Takeo Spikes: Jamie Collins has potential to become dual-threat linebacker

Jamie Collins bucked the trend of “hitting the rookie wall.” He finished the season strong and the postseason stronger. He showed off his multi-dimensional talent that made him the Patriots first selection of the 2013 draft in the second-round. Former NFL linebacker, who had an exception rookie season long ago, spoke about the young linebacker on CSN New England.

“A guy who can play the pass extremely well,” said Spikes. “One of the question marks is his ability to be able to stop the run.  That’s kind of give-and-take because it’s so hard, and it’s rare to find linebackers that can do that.”

Collins could be a member of an era of line backers that are evolving the position.

“You look at linebackers Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman, Luke Kuechly,” added Spikes. “These are guys that not only can stop the run, but they play the pass extremely well. I think that’s what you’re starting to see.”

The one element to Collins’ game that Spikes fails to mention is pass rushing. Collins actually has the potential to be a triple threat linebacker. He was highly touted as an athletic pass-rusher coming out of Southern Mississippi. Since arriving in the NFL, he’s only proved his strength as a coverage linebacker.

The upcoming season will be the perfect opportunity for him to prove himself in every dimension of defense. He can continue to prove that he — and the entire group of New England linebackers — are elite.

And while Jerod Mayo, Dont’a Hightower and Collins are youngsters they’ll have some aged and experienced run-stoppers in Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly.

Tags: Jamie Collins New England Patriots

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