Former Griffin Landon Collins begins NFL career in New York

Kyle Riviere
Landon Collins was drafted by the Giants with the first pick of the second round. Photo by Jordan Raanan.

He was the country's No. 1 safety prospect when he signed with Alabama back in 2012 and now three years later, he was the first strong safety taken in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Former Dutchtown standout Landon Collins just continues to pile on the accomplishments as he enters the next phase of his football career, the phase he has been waiting for his entire life: the NFL.

Last Friday night, Collins was drafted by the New York Giants with the first pick of the second round--pick No. 33 overall.

His selection made him the third Dutchtown football player to be drafted. Just two years ago, former Griffins in Eric Reid and Eddie Lacy were selected in the first and second rounds respectively. They went on to make the Pro Bowl as rookies.

It was obvious Collins was something special back when he was playing for head coach Benny Saia at Dutchtown. In his senior year, he earned All-State honors on both offense and defense.

He quickly became the top safety prospect in the nation before picking Alabama over LSU.

At Alabama, Collins excelled as a special teams player his freshman year and by the time the second half of his sophomore season rolled around, he was a starter in the Tide's secondary.

In his first full year as a starter in 2014-15, Collins established himself as the best safety in the country.

He led Alabama's team in tackles with 103 and interceptions with three en route to earning first-team All-SEC and first-team All-American honors.

In addition to those accolades, he was a finalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy and the Nagurski and Jim Thorpe Awards.

After he decided to skip his senior season and enter the draft, he was projected by many to go in the top 15.

He had a nice combine, where he ran a 4.53 40 with a 35-inch vertical jump but for whatever reason, come draft day, he dropped down to the 33rd pick.

The New Orleans native will now join two other natives of the Big Easy in teammates Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr.

Now as a New York Giant, Collins will wear No. 27--the same number that former Griffin running back Eddie Lacy wears in Green Bay.