Seahawks rookie RB Alex Collins: ‘I feel like a beast comes out of me’
It’s one-on-one at the goal line, just Alex Collins and a safety. “Brock and Salk” wanted to know what the Seahawks’ rookie running back will choose: juke or power.
“I feel like a beast comes out of me,” Collins said. “They’re depending on me and it’s just kind of like I have all of the energy and power in the world. Especially at the goal line, I’m running through you.”
With Marshawn Lynch gone and his powerful protégé, Thomas Rawls, on the mend, this is the answer Seahawks fans hoped to hear. A fifth-round pick from Arkansas, Collins is among three running backs selected by Seattle to fill the void left by Lynch’s retirement. Collins said he followed the Seahawks during college and mirrors his approach to the game after Lynch.
“I definitely think I resemble him a little bit; at least I try,” he said. “I can’t be him. He’s done some great things, but I definitely try to resemble him as far as getting downhill as quick as possible, being powerful, not letting the first guy bring you down, kind of being a little bit elusive, and when it’s time to drop the shoulder to get those hard yards, I do that as well. I try to be that all-around guy that you can depend on third-and-short or first down and get some yards.”
Collins ran a rather pedestrian 4.59 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine but uses short, quick steps for extra control on the field. It’s a technique he said he has tweaked over time and now feels natural to him.
“You don’t want to over-stride or get out of your base, because when you start overstepping then you start slipping or you lose grip or you can’t make that cut when you need to make that cut,” he explained. “So just staying under yourself and keeping your feet, you can make those quick cuts, switch from hole to hole, move from place to place a little bit faster.”
Brock Huard said he likes everything about Collins as a power-back in Seattle. The reason 12 running backs were picked in front of Collins, Huard said, is because of his 28.5-inch vertical jump during the combine. That created doubts about his explosiveness.
“I promise you, if he would have jumped 35 inches at that combine, there is no way in the world he is the 13th running back taken in this draft,” Huard said, noting that fellow Seahawks draftees defensive tackle Jarran Reed and running back C.J. Prosise posted 31-inch and 35.5-inch verticals, respectively. Collins improved his vertical to 32.5 inches at his Arkansas pro day.
Huard said that while the explosiveness could be a limitation, Collins’ production, background, history and innate ability to run the ball should make him a starter in the NFL.
“He could absolutely be a starter for this team,” Huard said. “There’s nothing in his background, there’s nothing in his resumé that says he can’t start in this league.”