Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 5/6/14
The New England Patriots’ defensive line could get crowded in 2014. Jamie Collins said Tuesday at Gillette Stadium that he would rather rush the quarterback in sub packages than drop into coverage, which is exactly what Dont’a Hightower said last week. Jerod Mayo might not be sent on many linebacker blitzes this season. Collins and Hightower both have experience rushing off the edge from their days in college, though neither player has received full-time pass-rushing snaps since joining the Patriots. Collins got the opportunity to play outside linebacker in the Patriots’ 3-4 defense in Week 7 of the 2013 season, but he was removed from the game early in favor of a heavier front seven. Collins has tons of upside as a pass rusher, however, after recording 10 sacks as a senior at Southern Miss, playing defensive end. In the final three weeks of the Patriots’ 2013 season, including playoffs, Collins had a sack, four quarterback hits and two hurries, mostly on blitzes. Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich walked through the Patriots’ locker room last season as the Patriots were preparing for the Indianapolis Colts in the playoffs, joking — or not — that Collins was trying to steal his role as a pass-rusher. Ninkovich also offers versatility as a lineman or linebacker. Collins also is strong in coverage, however. He started his career at Southern Miss as a safety, and he displayed his man-coverage skills against the Colts, covering tight end Coby Fleener and allowing just two receptions for 12 yards. Collins gives the Patriots plenty of versatility, but it might be ideal if he was allowed to turn loose with one role. He played well with a lot on his plate as a rookie, however, especially after starters Jerod Mayo and Brandon Spikes went down with injuries. Collins’ versatility allows the Patriots to get creative in the 2014 NFL draft. They can draft the best-available linebacker, whether he specializes in coverage or rushing the passer.Filed under: New England Patriots

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Carmelo Anthony, wife reportedly nowhere close to divorce

Penguins win Stanley Cup Final Game 1 despite going 37 minutes without a shot on goal

NHL won’t participate in 2018 Winter Olympics, cites hypocritical reason for not playing

NFLPA to rookies: Be like Gronkowski, Beckham Jr.

Tiger Woods arrested on DUI charges

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Bryce Alford defends Lonzo Ball: He 'doesn't deserve' criticism

Report: Clippers ‘overwhelming favorite’ to keep Chris Paul

Giants owner: Signing Kaepernick would anger fans

Mike Trout to undergo MRI after suffering thumb injury

Report: ‘Multiple’ teams open to giving Nerlens Noel max contract

John Wall: Bench was cause of Wizards’ ‘downfall’

The 'Hope your Cup runneth over this Memorial Day' quiz

Meet your Stanley Cup finalists: Nashville Predators

Getaway Day: There's a murderer's row in the NL West

Journey to the Stanley Cup Final: Pittsburgh Penguins

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 5/26: Bring on the Finals

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'Hope your Cup runneth over this Memorial Day' quiz

Meet your Stanley Cup finalists: Nashville Predators

Getaway Day: There's a murderer's row in the NL West

Journey to the Stanley Cup Final: Pittsburgh Penguins

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker