La’el Collins- Scouting Report
Guard/Tackle- La’el Collins- LSU
- Versatile lineman capable of playing any guard or tackle position.
- High upside, has a chance to be a perennial All-Pro, particularly in the interior.
- Excellent size and strength
- Athletic lineman for his size
- Strong at the point of attack, and very physical in the run game. Can blow open holes for his ball carrier.
- Good pass blocker overall, with a nice anchor to hand bull rushes.
- Uses his length well to wall off defenders
- Came back his senior year to refine his game, cleaned up a number of concerns he had a year ago.
- NFL ready, day one starter who can contribute right away.
- Collins can have trouble picking up blitzes at times, and needs to work on his awareness.
- Some question if he can be more than just an above average tackle, particularly on the left side.
- Can struggle with speed rushers on the edge.
- Footwork is inconsistent in pass blocking.
Collins is one of the top offensive linemen in the draft and figures to go in the top half of the first round. He’s a versatile lineman and could get consideration at either guard or tackle spot. While some believe he is better as a tackle, he may fit better as a mauling guard. Playing inside may play to Collins’ natural strengths as he is very physical at the point of attack and wouldn’t have to worry as much with speed from the edge.
Collins does an excellent job of finishing blocks and once he gets his hands on a defender the battle is typically over. In run blocking he can get defenders on skates and open up huge holes for the ball carrier. He might not do as well in a zone scheme, because he has had some trouble locating who he needs to block either on the blitz or when trying to get to the 2nd level. In a power scheme he won’t have as many decisions to make and can just blow up the guy right in front of him.
There is a debate about just how good Collins can be and where he will play long term, but few debate that he is a top 15 prospect and a guy who is a day one starter. Overall he’s a pretty safe pick, and one that will help both in run and pass blocking. He’s similar to Brandon Scherff from Iowa, though he probably has a little higher ceiling and a slightly lower floor than Scherff. He’s also probably not as scheme diverse (at least initially) as Scherff. Regardless, in a year with no elite offensive line prospects, Collins stands out as one of the top 2nd-tier options out there.