The Giants felt like they got a first-round talent when they traded up to select safety Landon Collins with the first pick in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
The former All-American and National Champion from the University of Alabama became an instant starter for the Giants, recording 33 tackles (three for losses), five passes defended, and an interception through six games so far.
Each week, Giants.com will check in with the rising rookie as he embarks on his NFL career.
You recorded your first NFL interception on "Monday Night Football" in Philadelphia. What did you see on that play?
Collins: We were in Cover 1, and I think it was two plays before that, they tried me while I was playing more aggressive because I had to set the edge or whatever and I was down there in our coverage. So [Eagles tight end Zach Ertz] swim-moved me and he took off, that's what they tried the first time. And then the second time they tried it, I knew where my help was at, so I pressed him from the inside, out. I stayed on his hip, read the route, saw his eyes, and I just turned around and saw the ball up. I saw the ball, and I tried to high-point it because you've got a 6-6 tight end behind you and he can go over top of you anytime he wants. So after that, I just grabbed it from out there.
Do you remember your first one at Alabama?
Collins: Yeah, that was my sophomore year versus Tennessee. My first SEC start, I caught a pick, and that was a pick-six. I brought it down the sideline for 89 yards.
Your counterpart Brandon Meriweather also grabbed one earlier in that Eagles game. What did he say?
Collins: He asked me, 'I can never outdo you, can I?' I said, 'No, bro, no, can't do it."
How big of a role has a veteran like him had in your development?
Collins:** A very big role because he taught me a lot at this level. There's a lot of little things and nitpick things that you can overlook, and he just hits it on point every time we get together, every time we're on the field, and anytime we're just talking around here just talking about life. He just touches base with everything. He's a major part of my development as a rookie.
You played the Cowboys in the season opener, your NFL debut, and now you face them again. How are you different since Week 1?
Collins: I'm a smarter player from then.
What about the team?
Collins: It's a different mindset going into this game, especially coming off of a loss. So there's definitely a lot of determination for this game.
Dallas has suffered injuries to key players like quarterback Tony Romo and wide receiver Dez Bryant. What have you seen from their offense?
Collins: Just the same thing we've been playing. They've lost a lot of key guys and stuff like that, so they try to change it around with their packages. But you get the same concepts we played the first time.