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Mel Kiper Jr. names Giant to 2015 All-Rookie Team

Posted Jan 7, 2016

ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. named one Giant player to his 2015 All-Rookie Team.

Landon Collins made history this year, becoming the first Giants safety to start an entire 16-game season.

As the Giants shift gears to a busy offseason, the safety recently landed on ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr.’s All-Rookie Team.

“Give Collins a lot of credit,” Kiper wrote. “A lot was asked of him, and while he struggled plenty, he gave the Giants reps, led the rookie class in tackles and is going to get better.”

Collins, who turns 22 on Jan. 10, also led the Giants this season with 112 total tackles. He ranked third on the team with nine passes defended, behind cornerbacks Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (13) and Prince Amukamara (10).

Collins became the first Giants defensive rookie to start 16 games since defensive tackle Barry Cofield in 2006. The Alabama product came up with a pair of turnovers in 2015, both of which came in “Monday Night Football” games. Collins intercepted Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford in Week 6 and forced a fumble in a win over Miami in Week 14.

"He's definitely improved over the course of the season, without a doubt," Tom Coughlin, who recently stepped down as head coach, said of Collins at the end of the season. "He's become more aggressive. He's done a nice job down in the box. I think he's going to be an outstanding player going forward."

Both Collins and first-round draft pick Ereck Flowers made Kiper Jr.’s Midseason All-Rookie Team. The Miami native didn’t make the year-end list, but was Honorable Mention.

“I give Ereck Flowers serious kudos, however,” Kiper wrote of the left tackle. “He was put in a tough spot and competed. He'll get better.”

Flowers and Collins became the first tandem of first- and second-round draft choices to start for the Giants in the season opener since wide receiver Ike Hilliard and running back Tiki Barber did so in 1997.

Mel Kiper’s All-Rookie Team

Offense
Quarterback: Jameis Winston (Buccaneers)
Running back: Todd Gurley (Rams)
Fullback: Michael Burton (Lions)
Wide receivers: Amari Cooper (Raiders), Stefon Diggs (Vikings), Tyler Lockett (Seahawks)
Tight end: Clive Walford (Raiders)
Offensive tackles: Donovan Smith (Buccaneers) and Robert Havenstein (Rams)
Guards: Ali Marpet (Buccaneers) and Brandon Scherff (Washington)
Center: Mitch Morse (Chiefs)


Defense
Defensive ends: Leonard Williams (Jets) and Mario Edwards Jr. (Raiders)
Defensive tackles: Eddie Goldman (Bears) and Malcolm Brown (Patriots)
Outside linebackers: Markus Golden (Cardinals) and Preston Smith (Washington)
Inside linebackers: Kwon Alexander (Buccaneers) and Eric Kendricks (Vikings)
Cornerbacks: Ronald Darby (Bills) and Marcus Peters (Chiefs)
Safeties: Landon Collins (Giants) and Adrian Amos (Bears)

Special Teams
Kicker: Josh Lambo (Chargers)
Punter: Matt Darr (Dolphins)
Punt returner: Tyler Lockett (Seahawks)
Kick returner: Ameer Abdullah (Lions)
Long-snapper: Joe Cardona (Patriots)