2016 NFL Draft under-the-radar player spotlight: Alex Collins

To say that the running back position has all but become an anomaly in the NFL would certainly be an understatement. You don’t see a team building their offense around a running back and having a ton of success anymore.

However, there are many cases where the best player on the team is a running back, case in point being the Minnesota Vikings and Adrian Peterson or the St. Louis Rams and Todd Gurley. Both of those teams have found a way to have a dominant rushing attack while still being able to compete on the field every Sunday.

A lot of teams aren’t basing their offense off of someone who just carries the ball, but it’s always nice to have someone that can. One person that can do that very well is Arkansas running back Alex Collins.

This guy came into his college career having the reputation of being the guy whose mother snatched his scholarship offer and ran with it because she wanted him to play at Miami to being known as one of the best backs the SEC has ever seen.

Collins is currently only listed as a third-round draft choice, but he is certainly a guy that could help a team have success on the field. One big reason that he could be a player to watch for is his consistency.

In three years, Collins has rushed for over 1,000 yards every season, something that hadn’t been in nearly a decade. He is just the third running back in the SEC to do that, joining Herschel Walker and Darren McFadden.

That kind of consistency is not only something that can earn you a big paycheck, but it can also give you a lot of love in the NFL when it comes to Pro Bowl and Rookie of the Year voting.

For being a guy at over 200 pounds, Collins has the explosiveness and breakaway speed that any team would love to have on Sundays. He powers through the tiniest of holes along the line and if he gets past the front line, this guy is hard to bring down.

One big thing NFL teams look for in a running back is a guy that can hold onto the rock. In nearly 650 carries in his career, Collins has fumbled only, get this, four times and has lost just one of those.

If that isn’t a stat that would get your team excited, this last point would certainly do the trick for you.

Not only did Collins rush for 1,100 yards in 2014, he did it splitting touches with Jonathan Williams, who ALSO went for over 1,000 yards. He stepped up when Williams went down with an injury before the season and was able to fill in well for him, going for nearly 1,400 yards and 17 touchdowns, both career highs.

Again, great running backs in the NFL truly come a dime a dozen and it’s unlikely that you would see happen in a guy that is projected to be a third-round pick. However, if anyone is going to be a big surprise, it’s certainly Collins.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports