The Raiders signed a couple premium linebackers this past free agency. Also, they brought in veterans such as tight end Jason Witten and Prince Amukamara. With all the flurry of activity, it’s easy to forget they added Maliek Collins. However, the defensive tackle showed he can have an impact on the field.
There were plenty of defensive tackles available in this year’s free agency. Players with higher profiles such as Mike Daniels, Leonard Williams, Shelby Harris and Ndamukong Suh hit the market. For that reason, it could’ve been easy to dismiss Collin’s signing. Nevertheless, a closer look to his production last season displays his high-end motor on game day.
In 2019, Collins had 48 total pressures. Scott Bair rightly pointed out that was more than the whole Raiders defense.
— Scott Bair (@BairNBCS) March 17, 2020
Moreover, Pro Football Focus gave Collins a 77.7 pass-rush grade in 2019, the eighth among defensive tackles.
Newly acquired #Raiders DI Maliek Collins' 77.7 pass rush grade ranked 8th among interior defensive linemen in 2019 💪
His 48 pressures also tied for the 11th most among DIs 🔥
— PFF Las Vegas Raiders (@PFF_Raiders) March 18, 2020
Ahead of Training Camp
In a recent article, Vincent Bonsignore wrote about four players that can make waves in Training Camp. Collins was one of the four. Regarding the defensive tackle, Bonsignore mentioned that he was better than any interior linemen the Raiders had last season.
Collins has shown a knack for pushing the pocket from the interior. If he can replicate that with the Raiders, he will fill a major need. Last season Collins finished with 36 hurries, 10 QB hits and 48 pressures, each of which would have led the Raiders’ interior linemen.
Bonsignore also talks about how Collins’ presence in the line of scrimmage will help his teammates.
Looking beyond the obvious stats, Collins has a chance to not only make an individual impact, but the complementary component he brings is bound to help his defensive teammates.
By creating pressure and commanding double teams, Collins will free others. Later, Bonsignore cites ESPN when he points out how frequently the defensive tackle saw double teams in 2019.
According to Pro Football Focus, Collins had the eighth-best pass-rushing grade among interior defensive linemen last year. And according to ESPN, Collins had the fourth-best win rate among all defensive linemen, which certainly led to being double-teamed on a whopping 64 percent of his snaps.
If Collins plays the same way in 2020, the Raiders defensive line will definitely increase their production. It wouldn’t even be surprising to see him receive Pro Bowl designation at the end of the season. Bonsignore believes he can turn into that kind of player and states so when he closes his analysis.
If defensive ends Maxx Crosby or Clelin Ferrell make more plays in 2020, it will be a good idea to look back and see if that was thanks to Collins’ effort. It will likely be the case.
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