NFL Top 100 Players: Safety Nick Collins next at 96
In the wake of labor disputes and the reality that part of the 2011 NFL season may be lost, NFL.com has polled current players to rank the top 100 players in the league.
Left tackle Chad Clifton was the first member of the Packers to appear on the list, followed closely by safety Nick Collins at No. 96.
A starter since day one, Collins has more than lived up to his potential as a second round draft pick in 2005. After intercepting four passes his first three seasons, missing just three total games (all in 2007, knee), Collins broke out in 2008 when he intercepted seven passes, returning three for touchdowns.
He also set a Packers’ single season record with 295 return yards on those interceptions, breaking Bobby Dillon’s mark of 244 yards set in 1956. 2008 also marked the first of three straight Pro Bowl selections for the Packers’ safety.
A year later, Collins picked up right where he left off, intercepting six passes and recovering two fumbles. He also wound up starting in the Pro Bowl because former Packer and then-safety for the Saints Darren Sharper was playing in the Super Bowl.
Collins was instrumental to the Packers’ league-leading defense in 2010, as he intercepted four passes and finished with 70 tackles. His biggest play of the season, however, came in Super Bowl XLV when he intercepted a Ben Roethlisberger pass and zig-zagged his way 37 yards into the end zone to give the Packers’ a comfortable 14-0 lead. He finished the Super Bowl with four tackles and a pass defended.
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