NFC East free agents the Cleveland Browns should consider targeting
New York Giants – Safety Landon Collins
The New York Giants surprised a lot of people when they decided to not franchise tag Landon Collins. Collins has played like a top safety in the NFL, but is not as strong in coverage as some teams would desire from their safeties. The Giants are apparently one of those teams.
In 12 games last season, Collins made 96 combined tackles, five tackles for loss, one forced fumble, and four passes defended. Although there are questions about Collins’ coverage abilities, he intercepted five passes in 2016.
The Browns appear to be set at the two safety positions with Damarious Randall and Jabrill Peppers. Both players had career years in 2018 and seemed to play extremely well together. But an option the Browns could consider is to play Collins as an off-ball linebacker if they sign him to a contract this off-season.
Although he has been listed as a safety his entire career, Collins has thrived when playing in the box. He is able to take on blocks, allowing him to make plays against the run, even if he does not have a free shot at the runner.
Collins’ athleticism could be better utilized in coverage when playing in the box. When put into coverage in the deep third of the field, Collins struggled to move and keep up with the quicker receivers. By playing in the box, Collins would be able to react more than having to chase down receivers. His instincts are what helped him intercept those five passes in 2016.
The Browns made the move to release Jamie Collins and will be in the market for a linebacker. Signing Landon Collins and making him a linebacker would not only take the Browns defense to the next level, but it could result in Collins becoming a much more valued player.