BEREA, Ohio — You read the headline correctly.
You clicked. Most likely your motives are to agree or to mock. That’s fine.
“Defensive Rookie of the Year, that’s my expectation.”
For those of you who are aghast a rookie could show such confidence or just here to argue about who will win an award given out more than seven months from now for a season that hasn’t even started yet, the comments section is below.
Anyone more interested in what the rookie safety actually had to say about how his job has been going after being drafted in the second round in May, we will press on.
Collins is viewed as a box safety who struggles in space. The rookie said his work in coverage has been going well and believes he has shown coaches he’s not just a hard-hitting safety.
“It’s been going fantastic,” he said of offseason work. “The coaches love the range that I have. I get to go showcase it at practice … the more I work on it, the better I can get at it and the more I can help my corners if I need to help over the top.”
Collins said he’s been both in the box and deep in coverage during Big Blue’s workouts, depending on the formation.
Giants safeties coach Dave Merritt recently spoke despairingly about his very young group, wondering where he’ll find leadership. When asked about those comments, Collins said one of his goals is to grow into a leader in the back end of Big Blue’s secondary.
“First, what I’m trying to improve is my trust with the players,” he said. “I can’t be a leader until they trust me in my play calling and be able to call plays and make movements and make an adjustment. So that is what I need to work on and that’s what I’m going to work on day by day.”
After falling out of the first round of the NFL draft, Collins said he plans to prove the Giants were right in trading up to snag him.
“That they didn’t move up in the draft for no reason, that’s what I’m trying to prove and be ready to play,” he said.
With an extremely young, thin safety group, the Giants desperately need Collins to be a playmaker on the back end, whether or not that eventually earns him the DROY award.