Who Is He?
Alex Collins is a running back that was signed from the practice squad on Saturday, 2 days after the Ravens signed and released running back Jeremy Langford. Collins was drafted by the Seahawks in the 5th round of the 2016 draft out of Arkansas where he finished with 1,000 yards in all 3 seasons. Collins was cut by the Seahawks before the regular season began and signed to the Ravens practice squad soon after.
Alex Collins did 3 things in the week 2 victory over the Browns that has me ready to declare him the starting running back for the rest of the season. On his first carry, Alex Collins took a handoff to the left side waited patiently for his lane and exploded through the hole for a 16 yard gain. His decisiveness is a trait that is going to be key if the Ravens will be a successful rushing team for the whole season. The very next play, he took another handoff to the left for a violent 4 yards. When I say violent, I mean the defenders took more punishment than he did on the play. Playing in this division especially late in the season when its cold and wet outside, the last thing a defender wants to deal with a strong physical runner like Collins. The last play that I loved was also on the same drive. On 2nd and 6, Collins lined up beside Joe Flacco in the shotgun formation and took a handoff to the right side where he was met at least 4 yards behind the line of scrimmage. Collins, with his physical running style, broke 2 tackles and barreled forward for a gain of 1. A 1 yard gain can easily go overlooked on the stat sheet, but the difference between having 3rd and 10 and having 3rd and 5 his huge. It opens the playbook up so much more and doesn’t put so much pressure on Joe Flacco to force a big play. Needless to say, on the next play Flacco dumped the ball off to Buck Allen for a 8 yard gain and first down which led to a Justin Tucker field goal and a comfortable 14 point lead.
I think we will be seeing a lot more of Alex Collins as the season goes on and by November he may be the feature back. His physicality is unmatched and gets us back to the Ravens way of winning. Lights out defense with a ground and pound offense. Coach John Harbaugh also was impressed by Collins saying, “I think he earned more snaps….When you play well you earn more playing time.”