Colts Need to Take a Hard Look at LSU’s La’El Collins


The 2015 NFL Scouting Combine is over. No longer do I have to watch coaches, GM’s, and scouts oogle and drool over 21-year-old men in shorts and dry fit shirts running, jumping, and lifting. Now don’t get me wrong, as I enjoy watching the combine almost as much as anyone, but far too often, we see prospects rise up on the fact of just what they can do when they are not in pads.

Feb 20, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; LSU Tigers offensive linemen La’el Collins runs the 40 yard dash during the 2015 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

There is value in the drills for every position, but sometimes the film on prospects does not lie. Case in point in Vernon Gholston, Darius Heyward-Bey, and Tyson Alualu. All of their draft stocks skyrocketed after they posted freakish times in their events in Indianapolis.

So for LSU offensive tackle La’El Collins the tape has been there, it just came down to how he performed during his drills. He did not disappoint.

Collins posted the 10th best three cone drill time with a stunning 7.70 time. Then came the 40 yard dash, a blazing 5.12. Not too bad for someone who weighed in at 305 pounds. For the rest of his official combine results, click here.

The knock on Collins coming in was that he lacked the athleticism to play tackle at the next level, but after his performance, he has shown that he can at least become a solid right tackle in the league.

Collins is in-line to become the second offensive tackle taken off the board come April, so the Colts need to take a hard look at him to see if he is worth investing a first round pick in.

With Gosder Cherilus struggling last year mightily and being placed on injured reserve due to injuries, the Colts are in limbo along the right side of their offensive line. Collins can come in and start at guard right away, and eventually take over the right tackle spot when he has developed more.

The one thing I love about him is that he has the mean streak that you cannot teach an offensive lineman. He consistently showed that last year while playing at LSU:

Play until you hear the whistle. That is instilled into you when you are a lineman. And that is exactly what Collins does as you see above during a game against Alabama last year.

That toughness has translated over to the running game well for Collins. He consistently gets to the second level and uses his quickness to get in front of linebackers and safeties:

Above, you see Collins chip-blocking on an inside run play. His ability to chip down and get off the defensive lineman and square up his pads and hit the next man is amazing.

Another perfect example here, as Collins slams down and takes out the tackle then chips to the linebacker and kicks him out of the hole. Text book blocking here.

Collins uses his size and strength to dominate in the run game, but at the next level your technique needs to be flawless as you cannot depend just on your size anymore. That is what Collins desperately needs to improve on.

At times, his handwork in the passing game is missing. He struggles in getting his hands set on defenders and sometimes is easily pushed back.

Collins is still raw in the passing game, and it showed here in 2013 during a game against Georgia. The lack of passing the ball last season for LSU’s offense did not help his cause, as they ran the ball almost 70 percent of the time.

However, Collins still shows flashes of developing a solid pass blocking game as well.

The Colts have not used a first round pick on an offensive lineman since 2011 when they took Anthony Castonzo. Another player who was a work in progress, yet Castonzo just finished his best season in the league.

The Colts offensive line has improved each season under Head Coach Chuck Pagano and allowed just 29 sacks last year, down from 32 in 2013. But the Colts need to develop a running game, and bringing in a guy like Collins will help that cause immediately.

That is why Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson and the rest of his Colts staff need to take a long hard look at Collins with their first pick in the draft come April.

(Videos Courtesy of