Ex-Browns GM favors Landon Collins among Alabama players

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Defensive back Landon Collins is widely considered one of the top pro prospects on the Alabama football team. But in a program loaded with NFL talent, Collins was identified at the top of the Crimson Tide's impressive heap on Tuesday by former Cleveland Browns general manager Phil Savage.

Collins is a junior and a preseason All-SEC pick who ranked second on the Crimson Tide in tackles last year (70), behind first-round draft pick C.J. Mosley.

Other top Crimson Tide prospects include wide receiver Amari Cooper and running back T.J. Yeldon, both juniors, and senior linebacker Trey DePriest. Sophomore defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson is already drawing attention as one of the SEC's elite defensive linemen. He caught the eye of NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah at the Sugar Bowl in January.

However, Collins is primed to be next in a line of Crimson Tide safeties under Nick Saban -- from Mark Barron to Ha Ha Clinton-Dix -- to be a high draft choice at the position. Collins said as much himself at SEC Media days, but declined to comment on his thoughts about possible early NFL draft entry.

He checked in at No. 18 on College Football 24/7's daily countdown of the top 20 college players in the nation.

Collins has flashed each of the attributes Savage referenced in his tweet. His explosiveness was certainly on display last season when he returned an interception 88 yards for a touchdown against rival Tennessee. As for toughness and productivity, he has yet to miss a Saturday in his 27-game career and is among Alabama's best special-teams players, too.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread*.

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