Former Alabama safety Landon Collins among SEC stars in NFL Week 16

Landon Collins
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants safety Landon Collins continues to prove he should have been a first-round pick in last year’s NFL draft. Collins, a former star at Alabama who was selected in the secnod round, received his first invitation to the Pro Bowl last week, and while his team lost 24-19 to the Philadelphia Eagles this past weekend, he has been a bright spot on the Giants’ defense this season.

Collins had what many would describe as a disappointing rookie season, but when he made the switch from free safety to strong safety, everything else fell into place.

Collins and the Giants remain in the playoff hunt despite Thursday night’s loss to Philadelphia, with the former All-American proving to be one of the best at his position in the NFL. ElitesportsNY.com says the position switch has led to his five interceptions and 13 pass breakups this season.

Collins’ success has been recognized throughout the league thanks to two NFC defensive player of the week awards — which came in back-to-back games.

He also won the NFC defensive player of the month award for November. His performance aganst the Eagles was one of many from former SEC players that stood out in NFL Week 16. Here’s a look at players who made our list of top performances.

Mike Gillislee, running back, Buffalo Bills: Gillislee, a fifth-round pick out of Florida in 2013, had 91 yards in the Bills’ 34-31 overtime loss to Miami.

Bacarri Rambo, safety, Miami Dolphins: The former Georgia standout had 10 tackles in the Dolphins’ 34-31 overtime win over Buffalo.

Odell Beckham Jr., wide receiver, New York Giants: Beckham caught 11 passes for 150 yards in the Giants’ loss to the Eagles. The Giants selected the LSU product in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft.

Dak Prescott, quarterback, Dallas Cowboys: Prescott, a rookie from Mississippi State, continues to perform at a high level. He threw for 212 yards and three touchdowns in the Cowboys’ 42-21 win over Detroit on Monday night.

Danielle Hunter, defensive end, Minnesota Vikings: Hunter, a former LSU Tiger, had six tackles and 1.5 sacks in the Vikings’ 38-25 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, safety, Green Bay Packers: Clinton-Dix had eight tackles and one pass breakup in the Packers’ 38-25 win over Minnesota.

Alshon Jeffery, wide receiver, Chicago Bears: Jeffery, a second-rounder out of South Carolina in 2013, had five catches for 92 yards in the Bears’ 41-21 loss to Washington.

Deion Jones, linebacker, Atlanta Falcons: Jones, a rookie second-round pick out of LSU, had 13 tackles to lead the Falcons in a 33-16 win over Carolina.

Thomas Davis, linebacker, Carolina Panthers: Davis, in his 12th season out of Georgia, had 12 tackles in the Panthers’ loss to the Falcons.

Blake Countess, defensive back, Los Angeles Rams: Countess, a sixth-rounder out of Auburn in the 2016 draft, had 11 tackles and a sack in the Rams’ 22-21 loss to San Francisco.

Antonio Morrison, linebacker, Indianapolis Colts: Morrison, a rookie fourth-round pick out of Florida, had nine tackles in the Colts’ 33-25 loss to Oakland.

Mark Ingram, running back, New Orleans Saints: The former Heisman winner from Alabama ran for 90 yards and two touchdowns as he helped the New Orleans Saints beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-24.

Mike Evans, wide receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: – The Buccaneers’ first-round pick in 2014 out of Texas A&M caught seven passes for 97 yards and a touchdown in Tampa Bay’s loss to New Orleans.

Kwon Alexander, linebacker, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Alexander, a fourth-round pick out of LSU in 2015, led the Buccaneers with 10 tackles and two pass breakups in the loss to the Saints.

(You can follow David Levin on Twitter @DM719907)

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