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Nick Saban: Landon Collins was First Round worthy

Alabama leads the nation with 16 first-round draft picks since 2010.


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Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban does not know why Landon Collins isn't one of them. 

"I cannot for the life of me think why he would slide in the draft," Saban said Thursday on Sirius XM NFL Radio about Collins, the safety the Giants traded up to select with the first pick of the second round.

"He's a fine person. He's got no character issues. He's played on some really good defensive teams and has been a great leader, so I don't get it. But I don't know all that goes on there. Sometimes when you get all the information, it is what it is and people ought to just go with that rather than trying to read something into something that really isn't there."

Speaking before the first round kicked off, Saban heard the chatter that Collins could slide out of the top 32. As a four-time national champion head coach in the college ranks and a former NFL head coach and assistant, Saban has seen All-Americans drop before.


"I see this happen just about every year in the draft where there's something that gets put out there about somebody, and it like spreads like wild fire through every team as if they know something that we don't know," Saban continued. "The bottom line is that's why guys get drafted high and they're not very good and other guys that are really, really good players like Landon Collins, who has been very productive, has great speed, great size, very physical player, has got really good ball skills, can play in the deep part of the field. For a safety, he's a good man-to-man player and can match up on some people because of his size and speed."

But the draft process is over now.


After months of workouts, interviews and projections, the work really begins. After having 48 players selected in the last seven drafts -- including seven this past weekend, beginning with fourth overall pick Amari Cooper -- Saban knows the value of fit rather than number in the draft order.

"We try to give a fair and honest evaluation of the guys that play in our system," Saban said about conversations with NFL teams. "Of course, we have a lot of loyalty to the players that have done a great job for us and worked hard for us and helped us be successful here, and we want to see them do well. But it really doesn't do a whole lot of good to try to oversell a guy and not be sort of fair and honest with the team that you're talking to because at the end of the day, if it's not a good fit for them, it won't be good for the player.

"It's not just about where you get drafted, it's a lot about how long are you going to play, what kind of career you're going to have, and I think a lot of college players maybe don't have enough foresight to see that. The draft and where you get drafted is just the starting point. What you do with your career in terms of how you continue to work, try to develop, and to get with the right team in the right place where you're the best fit gives you the best opportunity to do that."

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