Pierre Garcon and Cecil Shorts have turned Division III powerhouse Mt. Union into "Wide Receiver U." as far as the NFL is concerned. This year's submission to the draft from the program is a speedy wide receiver whose game is bigger than his frame. Will he continue the new tradition of Purple Raider wideouts playing on Sundays?
Jasper Collins is a tough receiver with good hands. He can create separation with acceleration that eats up the cushion his speed buys him. Collins is comfortable going up for the ball or fighting for position when the ball is in the air. Collins is dangerous after the catch with an aggressive mindset, quick moves and strong running. He is also good at adjusting to the ball in flight and staying inbounds near the sidelines with body control. Collins can also serve as a punt returner, with the ability to score in the role.
Collins' frame is borderline too small to hang as an outside receiver in the NFL. He doesn't always separate and sometimes cornerbacks can easily stick to him. Collins will unnecessarily jump for receptions he could make in stride.
He was a combine snub despite an invite and solid week at the East West Shrine Game, so Collins' pro day was his chance to show off his 4.47 speed. His 34" vertical downplays his sudden ups to get high targets over the middle. Collins has good feet and quickness, as illustrated by his 4.07 short shuttle and 6.85 three-cone times.
Collins was a highly productive and clutch performer on a national championship team this year. He was at his best in the postseason. Collins is humble and there are no reports of any character issues in his past.
Collins can line up inside or outside. He did his best work in Mt. Union's spread pass offense between the hashmarks.
Collins springs out of his stance and gets up to speed quickly. He didn't have to defeat the jam very often because of the respect his speed got from opponents.
At the East-West Shrine practices, Collins showed route running polish with good breaks. He got open easily with sharp head and shoulder fakes in his slants. He finds open areas in zone defenses and can sit down to create a nice target. Even though he is small, Collins will bang for a spot to get to a ball in flight.
Collins usually snatches the ball out of the air like a true natural hands catcher. He puts the ball away quickly and can make catches outside of his frame. His experience as a punt returner also helps in this area.
Even though it isn't always needed to make the catch, Collins is very comfortable going up for the ball and can explode for a high target without having to load up for the leap. He can adjust to balls thrown behind him and maintain his balance. Collins is excellent tracking the ball over his shoulder deep and will bring in the catch when a safety is bearing down on him with a big hit lined up.
Run After Catch
Collins is a tenacious runner after the catch and can get yards that don't appear to be there when he makes a reception. He employs efficient cuts to elude or at least stretch past tacklers, and he can break tackle or bounce off of defenders who don't wrap up. His body is wound tight and Collins snaps into run after catch instantly from awkward catch positions. His stop-start mode combines with top-end acceleration to keep defenders on their heels, making Collins a threat to turn short receptions into long gains.
You will see Collins sacrifice his body to take on a defensive back trying to make a play against the run, but he doesn't sustain blocks and sometimes he doesn't make an effort to block at all. He is not a strong presence in the running game.
Scheme Versatility/Future Role
Collins' size probably limits him to a slot receiver role, but his game after the catch and route running make him a natural fit in a West Coast offense that is predicated on quick throws. He'll also contribute as a punt returner.