Nearly three years ago, Landon Collins found himself in an awkward situation. Despite being invited to the 2015 NFL Draft in Chicago, Collins went to sleep after Round 1 without a team. Five defensive backs came off the board the first night, but not Collins.

The following evening, the Giants traded for the first pick of the second round, and Collins had a home within minutes. Now Collins has two Pro Bowls, a first-team All-Pro selection and an NFC Defensive Player of the Year Award.

This past season, Collins took a new role: Leader. The Giants lost their head coach, Ben McAdoo, with four games left. Meanwhile, the defense faced other issues with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Eli Apple both serving team-issued suspensions. Collins, the Giants' only 2017 Pro Bowler, threw himself in front of the media, speaking about accountability, going as far as calling out Apple. 

Although some of the internal details are unclear, the New York tabloids have given Collins an unofficial "C" for his vocal performance this season. This progression was evident to the nation Sunday night when Collins appeared with Giants teammates Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. in an NFL commercial.

"I didn't feel like it was a need -- it's just my personality," Collins says of his leadership. "I'm not a follower. I've always been a leader. I'm always a person who's in front. That's how I am. I never want to be a part of a team or something that's not trying to be great. That's what I'm trying to propose and put into this team."

What type of leader is Collins? He's had to deal with issues with teammates on and off the field.

"It depends on where it's going at, where it's escalating from," he says. "If it's more of an understanding and we're trying to get someone to understand a point of view and where a person's coming from and understand the game and the business of what we're in, that's different than when we're going to battle and it's going nowhere. That's when I step in and make them understand, man, we're here for a reason. Most of us are not just doing this for the money. Most of us really want a ring. Most of us really want to be great and have our names known for the rest of our life."

Asked who has served as a football mentor and leader in Collins' own life, he lists a number of coaches from Dutchtown High School in Geismar, Louisiana, to Nick Saban and Kirby Smart at Alabama to Tom Coughlin and McAdoo at the Giants.

Collins also points to a moment when Steve Spagnuolo, the Giants' defensive coordinator-turned interim head coach who won't be reurning to the team, helped him grow.

"He's more into the Bible," Collins says. "When I first got there, he made me read this Bible script to him and in front of everybody I was a rookie. It's iron sharpens iron.

"If I know something and this person doesn't, I'm going to teach them to make him better at what he can be and his capabilities, basically sharpening him up."

Collins spoke to ThePostGame at the Adidas VIP Athlete Lounge in Minneapolis during Super Bowl week. Dak Prescott, Alvin Kamara, Andrew Wiggins and Josh Norman were among others who came through the suite.

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