The Baltimore Ravens have signed running back Alex Collins from their practice squad to their 53-man roster. So what could Collins bring to the team?
The Baltimore Ravens have signed running back Alex Collins from their practice squad to their 53-man roster, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport on Twitter. In a corresponding move, they have waived running back Jeremy Langford, whom they signed from their practice squad just a few days ago.
The Baltimore Ravens are in need of insurance in their backfield with the news that Danny Woodhead will be out with a hamstring injury for an extended period of time. Terrance West is still the starting running back for the team, and it seems that Javorius Allen is posed to take over Woodhead’s receiving back role, but Collins could potentially see work along the way as well.
So just who is Alex Collins and what can he bring to the Baltimore Ravens? Well Collins went to the University of Arkansas, and in his junior year there, he rushed for 1,577 yards and 20 touchdowns, the latter of which is a school record. He is second in career rushing yards all-time amongst Arkansas Razorbacks players, behind only Darren McFadden.
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Collins was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft and signed a four-year, $2.2 million contract with them. He finished his rookie season playing in 11 games with 125 yards on 31 carries and one touchdown, averaging 4.0 yards per carry.
Before the start of this year’s season, Collins was waived by the Seahawks and was signed to the Baltimore Ravens’ practice squad three days later.
Collins, nicknamed “Beast Mode Jr.” during his time in Seattle (in reference to running back Marshawn Lynch), is a relatively big dude, listed at 5’10”, 217 lbs. He’s had some flashes of great potential during his rookie season in Seattle.
In this clip, you can see Collins using his pure strength to push through Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Ramik Wilson to get a yardage:
As you can see, Collins is able to be a receiving back, and with his size, he can be difficult to take down. Here, we see him make two different Minnesota Vikings defenders miss before being brought down just before the first down marker:
Considering Collins was met by a linebacker behind the line of scrimmage, the fact that he was able to make anything out of that play, let alone almost grab a first down, is fairly impressive.
And finally, we take a look at Collins’ first career touchdown against the Oakland Raiders, where he finds a small hole at the goalline in a stuffed defensive line and breaks through for a touchdown:
I’m not suggesting that Alex Collins is the future of the Baltimore Ravens backfield or anything, but he’s a talented runner who has shown some impressive potential and is just 23 years old.
I think West and Allen are still going to get first shots at touches, with Allen in Woodhead’s receiving role, but I think the Ravens looked at Alex Collins, compared him to Jeremy Langford, and said “this is someone we like.” I wouldn’t be shocked to see Collins get some opportunities later in the season (especially if there’s an injury), and if he shows the flashes he showed last year more consistently, he’s going to get more work and could be an interesting player for this Baltimore Ravens squad.
I wouldn’t be shocked to see Collins get some opportunities later in the season (especially if there’s an injury), and if he shows the flashes he showed last year more consistently, he’s going to get more work and could be an interesting player for this Baltimore Ravens squad.