2016 NFL Draft: Early Look at Nebraska’s Maliek Collins


Nebraska’s Maliek Collins is a well-built defensive line prospect who features good bulk and long arms. However, his inability to hold up against the run makes him nearly undraftable at this stage in the process. He’s going to need to show major improvement in order to work his way up draft boards.

The NFL expects defensive tackles to hold at the point of attack, disengage and make plays away from their frame. At the very least they need to be able to anchor and occupy space. Collins is routinely pushed several yards off the line in running situations.

He tends to play too high and gives up leverage to the offensive lineman. His high pads and lack of hand usage allows the blocker to get inside hands and drive him off the ball. The clip below is just one example of Collins failing to hold up against the run:

Anchoring isn’t the only issue Collins has when it comes to defending the run. He’s too inconsistent with this snap awareness which allows the blocker to cross his face and seal him from the play. Collins has good short-area burst but without proper timing it’s useless. This clip shows an example of Collins failing to get out of his stance allowing the blocker to seal:

Collins gets some draft attention because of his size and athleticism. He shows the ability to work his way into the backfield and generate some pressure. However, his inability to play the run with integrity is a major problem.

There just isn’t room in the NFL for a defensive tackle who consistently gets driving 5+ yards off the line of scrimmage. I can’t imagine his linebackers enjoy lining up behind him as he only creates more traffic as they purse the ball carrier.