If you remember back to the build-up to the 2015 NFL Draft, there was one name above all the others that seemed to be the favorite in connection to the Colts, both with fans and media members alike: Landon Collins.
The safety out of Alabama was regarded by many as the top safety in that year’s draft class, and the Colts really needed safety help at the time. But last week, Collins said that the Colts didn’t show any interest at all in drafting him.
Appearing on the radio with 1070 the Fan’s JMV, Collins was asked whether he received any interest from Indianapolis.
“No, not at all,” he said. “I didn’t get no kind of interest or feeling that they were going to draft me.”
JMV again asked whether Collins had even any indication that the Colts were interested in him, and Collins said, “No sir. Not at all.”
Now, of course it’s possible that the Colts did have interest in Collins and that he just didn’t feel, sense, or know about it. After all, the Colts did at least meet with Collins, which by itself doesn’t mean that much or doesn’t mean the team is too interested, but is at least worth noting.
But at the very least, if Collins never felt like there was any interest from the Colts it surely means that any interest the Colts had wasn’t all that serious, meaning that they probably weren’t nearly as interested in drafting him as fans and analysts thought they should be.
In hindsight (and at the time too), Collins would have been a better pick than Phillip Dorsett, but the Colts used the 29th pick on Dorsett anyway. Collins wound up being drafted by the Giants with the first pick of the second round (which he told JMV still motivates him), and he really flourished for New York this season. He had an absolutely incredible season in 2016, starting all 16 games and recording 125 tackles, four sacks, a fumble recovery, five interceptions, and 13 passes defensed, while being named a first-team All-Pro, making the Pro Bowl, and finishing third in the NFL Defensive Player of the Year voting. Dorsett, meanwhile, has caught 51 passes for 753 yards and three touchdowns in two seasons with the Colts.
Of course, to give Ryan Grigson at least some credit, he did draft Clayton Geathers in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft, not ignoring the safety position completely, and Geathers has the makings of a good player, as long as he can stay healthy.
But not even showing serious interest in Collins is very strange, since the Colts could so desperately have used safety help both in 2015 and now as well. Not only did the Colts likely blow the pick, but they also might have blown the draft process leading up to it. Again, maybe they had interest in Collins quietly, but it’s still not very encouraging to hear what Collins had to say about the Colts’ lack of interest in him before the draft.