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Falcons sign Collins, four other draft picks


The Sports Xchange

The Atlanta Falcons on Saturday announced the signing of cornerback Jalen Collins, who was a second-round pick out of LSU, and four other rookies.

The Falcons also signed East Carolina wide receiver Justin Hardy (fourth round), Clemson defensive tackle Grady Jarrett (fifth), Eastern Washington tackle Jake Rodgers (seventh) and San Jose State cornerback Akeem King (seventh).

Terms of the deals were not revealed, but all are expected to be standard four-year contracts.

The Falcons’ only unsigned draft choices Saturday were first-round pass rusher Vic Beasley (Clemson) and third-round running back Tevin Coleman (Indiana).

Collins reportedly failed three drug tests at LSU and enters the NFL in the substance-abuse program. According to ESPN, the failed tests were related to marijuana.

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Dan Quinn expressed confidence in Collins after the draft.

“This is a situation where we’re very mindful of making sure that the people fit in, and we believe that he’s a good fit for this organization,” Dimitroff said. “And the further research that we did with him and people with our contacts at LSU — Dan’s as well as ours and our staff — we feel very confident about the fact that (Collins) is going to be in the right place here and be with the right people. He’s heading in the right direction on everything. He’s definitely a good person that we’re looking forward to working with.”

Collins started just 10 games in three seasons at LSU, including seven last season, when he totaled 38 tackles, nine pass breakups and an interception.

Collins underwent surgery after the NFL Scouting Combine to repair a fracture in his right foot.

Before Jarrett had a horrifying Day 2 of the draft — and not just because he didn’t get picked in the second or third round.

While watching the draft with friends and family at his home in Conyers, Ga., a fire broke out — forcing the approximately four dozen people to flee.

The next day, the Falcons drafted Jarrett, whose father, Jessie Tuggle, starred for the Falcons as a linebacker from 1987 to 2000.

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