CLEVELAND -- Strong safety Landon Collins may be in just his second season in the National Football League, but he is quickly carving out a niche for himself with the New York Giants.
Through 10 games this season, Collins has collected not only 80 tackles, including 66 solo stops, both of which are put him on pace to eclipse his numbers in 2015, but also, the first three sacks of his NFL career, 10 passes defended and five interceptions.
“He moves around, and obviously, with five interceptions, it speaks to his ball skills,” Browns quarterback Josh McCown said. “When he is around the ball, he is going to go get it and he has a good nose for the ball.
“Like I said, not only that, but he plays physical and he is just a hard football player, a hard-nosed football player. When you look at guys that way, you feel like they play the right way and they play the position the right way. He flies around, and he is a difference maker on their team.”
With his 192 career tackles, 150 solo stops, three sacks, 19 passes defended and six interceptions, one of which he returned for a 44-yard touchdown earlier in the 2016 season, Collins has drawn comparisons to another safety that wreaked havoc on the Browns in his career: former Baltimore Ravens great Ed Reed.
“I came in with Ed and I hold him in a high regard because he did it for so long at such a high level,” McCown said. “(They are) a little bit different. The things that he did and the things that Landon are doing are different, but the same in their approach and the way they play their position and with the speed and intensity.
“They both have the intelligence and the ball skills to make plays and create turnovers. He is an impressive guy. If he stays at this pace, there is no doubt that he will certainly be in that conversation with Ed and guys like that.”
Although McCown holds Reed in higher esteem than Collins, he “certainly sees why” people are mentioning him in consideration for the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year Award.
“He is an outstanding player and a young player,” McCown said. “He just has a nose for the football. He flies around, plays physical and is a really intelligent football player. I certainly understand why people would be putting his name out there for the player of the year on defense because he shows up on tape. You see him on tape for sure.”