Throughout the history of the New York Giants, they have had playmakers on the defensive side of the ball. If it was linebacker Big Blue had Sam Huff and Lawrence Taylor and on the defensive line, the G-Men had Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora. The current edition of the Giants has a new playmaker on the roster and unlike the previously mentioned he is a safety and his name is Landon Collins.
Collins came to the Giants in 2015 as a second-round draft pick and had a solid debut season. In his rookie season, Collins led the team in tackles in 2015 by having 112 tackles and was named to the All-Rookie team. Yet there were still critiques of Collins game in his debut season with the biggest criticism being how Collins was exploited in press coverage by the opposition.
When the calendar turned to 2016 Collins was penciled in as Giants safety and became a national star in one play. The G-Men traveled to London to play the Los Angeles Rams in week 7 and in the early part of the game it looked like the Giants talent did not clear customs as the Giants were down 10-3 in the second quarter. Then Collins provided a much-needed lift when he intercepted the ball that fell off the fingertips of Rams wide receiver Tavon Austin. After Collins secured the ball he provided a highlight reel return as he cut across the field broke two tackles and with the aid of a blocking convoy powered himself into the end zone to tie up the game at 10.
While the return by Collins went viral and he started to become a highly-praised football player, Collins did not stop playing. Collins is the leading tackler for the Giants entering week 12 and is gaining the reputation as a ball hawk with his streak of having an interception in the last four games. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo also uses Collins on safety blitzes as Collins has three sacks on the season. Collins also has an impact in stopping the opposition’s run game as it has become common to see Collins wrapping up running backs.
And for Giant fans they can relish that Collins is in his second year in the NFL. With an aging Jason-Pierre Paul, Collins will most likely become the leader and face of the Giants defense. While it is still to be determined if Collins becomes a nationwide spokesman he could become synonymous with Giants greatness if he is the leader of a Big Blue defense that hoist the franchise’s 5th Super Bowl title.