When the Baltimore Ravens called Alex Collins up from the practice squad following Danny Woodhead’s injury, I got interested. Nicknamed “Beast Mode Jr.” during his time in Seattle, Collins has shown some impressive flashes, both in his time in Seattle and now with the Ravens. In my opinion, Terrance West is a fairly average runner. His one-cut style works for the Marty Mornhinweg offense, but he lacks explosiveness, and that’s something that Collins has.
The Ravens’ Week 3 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars was pretty pitiful, as they lost 44-7, but during that game, Collins ended up running the ball nine times for 82 yards, averaging 9.1 yards per carry. Eight of his ten snaps came in the second half when the game was well out of hand, but he impressed me, and I genuinely think that he’s got a solid chance of supplanting West as the Ravens starting running back. The Ravens have two defined running back roles: the receiving back that was supposed to be Danny Woodhead but is now Javorius Allen, and the regular running back role that West is filling. We’re going to take a look at some of the plays Collins had in his Week 3 game against the Jaguars (a pretty solid defense) in our second GIF breakdown of the year.
Snap 2: Collins to the left guard for -1 yard
On Collins’ second snap of the game, he got swarmed. As you’ll see is a pattern in this breakdown, the Ravens offensive line played horribly, it’s pretty obvious that losing Marshal Yanda has hurt them in a very significant way. But what I like about this play is the fact that it takes five guys to take Collins down. He runs with purpose and he refuses to go down without a fight. As you’ll see later, his 210 pounds is not easy to take down.
Snap 3: Collins to the right end for 16 yards
This was Collins’ first snap since the first half, when the game was already well out of hand, but he ends up going for a nice run here. The Jags got through the Ravens offensive line quickly, once again, on this play, but Collins is able to burst past them, leaving two or three guys falling on their faces behind him. The fact that the line collapsed so quickly yet Collins was able to make a quick cut and burst through for 16 yards is pretty impressive.
Snap 5: Collins to the left end for 10 yards
I love this play. Dante Fowler Jr. comes at Collins completely uncontested, as this was obviously a play where Collins was supposed to run to the right (that’s where the entire offensive line was headed). Collins starts to head to the right, sees there’s no running room, stops, shakes off Fowler, and is able to actually grab 10 yards to the left. For being hit five yards behind the line of scrimmage, that’s a solid run, and it shows once again that Collins can be hard to bring down. It also shows some smart, quick decision-making by Collins, who could’ve easily run the play as it was designed and maybe gained a yard or two, but instead decided to change things up.
Snap 6: Collins up the middle for 6 yards
This is another example of just how strong Collins is. After working his way up the middle for six yards, Myles Jack wraps him up, but Collins refuses to go down. Eventually, Lafayette Pitts and Aaron Colvin join in to take him down but he still doesn’t go down to the ground. This is a pattern you’ll notice in Collins’ running style, he runs hard and he runs with purpose. You can see that in this gif from his time in Seattle too, as he stiff arms Chiefs linebacker Ramik Wilson for about three or four yards.
Snap 8: Collins to the right tackle for 9 yards
This is a similar design to the play that collapsed on snap five, a run up the middle out of the shotgun. This is just solid running, Collins looks for a hole and then turns on the jets and bursts through it to gain nine yards. Unlike many of the other plays here, this is some solid blocking by the Ravens’ offensive line as well, as they’re able to create a nice hole for Collins to bust through. Ryan Jensen especially makes a solid block on Paul Posluszny that, had it not been made, would’ve shortened the play considerably.
Snap 9: Collins to the right guard for 18 yards
We’ve seen how Collins can truck through people, but on this play, you see how he can make people miss. First, you see Telvin Smith miss him, though that’s mostly thanks to him getting hit by a good block from tight end Nick Boyle, but later, Collins makes a nice cut that completely breaks Jarrod Wilson’s ankles before being brought down by Posluszny.
Snap 10: Collins to the left end for 19 yards
On this play, both Yannick Ngakoue and Sheldon Day break through the offensive line immediately. Luckily, they both miss Collins on two pretty bad tackles, and Collins is able to break through, dodge a tackle from Peyton Thompson before being brought down by Dawuane Smoot and Eli Ankou (though he doesn’t go down without a fight).
As of this writing, Alex Collins is available in 99.7% of ESPN leagues. I’m not saying go blow all your FAAB on him or make him your top waiver claim, but after waivers have passed, if you’ve got some guy on your bench who’s just a flier, say a Kenny Golladay, or something along those lines, Alex Collins is not a bad guy to grab, because I think he’s very talented and shows a lot more potential than West does.