"Draft me now before it’s too late, guys."
Collins gained 973 yards rushing last season, the second most by a Ravens running back over the past five seasons. He just hasn't gained much of a following.
Coach John Harbaugh noticed a ranking of running backs on the NFL's website that placed Collins as the 26th-best back in the league. That put Colins behind the top two running backs on both the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals.
"I did mention it to him, and he had seen it," Harbaugh said. "That’ll motivate you a little bit."
Getting overlooked has been the theme for most of Collins' career. In 2016, Collins was selected in the fifth round, where he was the 13th running back taken that year. At the end of last year's preseason, Collins was cut by the Seattle Seahawks, who decided to carry four running backs (Eddie Lacy, Thomas Rawls, C.J. Prosise and Chris Carson) over him.
After starting last season on Baltimore's practice squad, Collins was on the 53-man roster by Week 2 and had supplanted injured Terrance West as the full-time starter by Week 5. Collins still finished with the 11th-most rushing yards in the league and scored six touchdowns.
Running backs coach Thomas Hammock said Collins has been looking better than last season and he's working harder.
"He’s definitely determined," Hammock said, "and I think he wants to make sure people understand that he’s not just a one-hit wonder."
Collins is looking to become the first Baltimore running back to produce more than 900 yards rushing in consecutive years since Ray Rice in 2011-12. The Ravens have had four different leading rushers in the past five seasons. Only the Arizona Cardinals and Tennessee Titans have had more over that span, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
There have been some questions about Collins' durability. Even though he didn't miss a game last season, he dealt with a migraine as well as injuries to a calf and shoulder.
The Ravens avoided wearing down Collins, who exceeded 20 touches in only three games. Baltimore isn't going with a running back by committee, but it will give carries and receptions to Buck Allen and Kenneth Dixon.
In addition to learning some new moves to add to his Irish dancing repertoire this offseason, Collins also bulked up to secure his job as the top back. He added 5 pounds of muscle.
"I’m moving around great," Collins said. "I’ve still got my stamina, as well as more strength, so I just look forward to seeing how it looks in pads."
The Ravens have been cautious with Collins because they want to get him to the Sept. 9 regular-season opener healthy. He surprisingly received the superstar treatment, getting three carries in four preseason games.
"We do what we need to do to get our guys ready to play, whatever is best for them," Harbaugh said. "So, any decision we make, anybody [who] plays a certain amount, it’s all what’s best for the team and gives us the best chance to be our best when the real football starts."
Baltimore hasn't had a 1,000-yard rusher since Justin Forsett in 2014. The three-year drought is the longest in Ravens history.
Eclipsing that mark -- which would place him among the top backs in the league -- is one of Collins' goals this season.
"As a running back, I think that’s important," Collins said. "With that being said, I don’t want to take that personal goal and get ahead of myself and just think about trying to get yards, trying to get yards, thinking about the big play, because the games are situational. You do everything right, and in a game, the stats will be determined on your play. So, going into games and going into it, I don’t think, ‘yards, yards, yards.’ I just try to be where I’m supposed to be, do exactly how it’s supposed to be done, and just finishing plays strong is how I pick up those extra yards to try to get that goal."