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Redskins Draft Countdown: LSU OT La’el Collins

Mar 27, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT

La'el-Collins-stance

The NFL Draft is just  five weeks away and I’ll continue researching the prospects throughout the lead-up to the draft. Along the way I’ll be sharing some of what I find out with Real Redskins readers. The focus will be on players in areas of need for the Redskins but I might look at players at just about any position since Scot McCloughan has said that he will take the best player available regardless of need.

La’el Collins
Offensive Tackle
LSU

source:

Height: 6-4
Weight: 305
40 time: 5.12 sec.

What they’re saying:

Strengths: Thick through chest and displays upper-body strength. Has strong hands and will snatch and control less active defenders. He takes defenders for a ride once he’s engaged on the move. Loves to mash and intimidate opponents. Mean player.

Weaknesses: Fails to consistently bring hips and feet with him through contact in the running game, causing him to fall forward and lose balance. Hand usage is a major concern. Hands will start too low in pass pro at times and has to work hard to redirect. Change of direction is slow for a tackle. Relies on lunging rather than foot movement to counter inside moves.

Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

How he fits the Redskins: If the Redskins trade back in the first round and end up with their top pick somewhere in the teens, they could decide that it’s time to upgrade at right tackle. The position has been in turmoil ever since Jon Jansen’s ability started to go downhill about 10 years ago. Collins could fill the bill on the right side of the line for the next eight to 10 years.

There are two right tackles in Washington now but the fact that the position is still up in the air speaks volumes about how they are viewed. Tom Compton started the last half of the 2014 season and Morgan Moses was a third-round draft pick last year. But the organization was still hot on the trails of right tackles Doug Free, Jermey Parnell, and Bryan Bulaga in the early phases of free agency. The bidding for each of them got too high for the Redskins’ budget but the fact that they were looking is a strong indication that they won’t hesitate to take a tackle if he’s the best available player if they are on the clock with, say, the 12th pick.

Potential issues: He’s a bit on the light side; Scot McCloughan might prefer a tackle that weighs about 20 pounds more. It’s easy to say that Collins could add some weight but he’s already pretty thick in his upper body and those pounds could come at the cost of some quickness.

Collins also doesn’t seem to have the athletic ability to play left tackle. That isn’t relevant right now. But Trent Williams is going into the last year of his contract. While it’s clear that the Redskins would like to have him for the long term, things don’t always work out. If the team is going to spend a top-20 pick on a tackle they may want to get one who can move to the left side if needed. Collins is more likely to move to guard than he is to left tackle.

Bottom line: With talk that the Redskins are very open to trading back from the fifth pick buzzing around at the owners meeting earlier this week, the possibility that their first pick will be back in the teens, maybe even further back, has to be considered. That puts players at positions such as right tackle squarely in play.

Collins will be in the mix with a few other tackles who will be under consideration in the middle of the first round, players like Brandon Scherff of Iowa and Andrus Peat of Stanford. They all have their plusses and minuses and McCloughan’s pick, if he does go in this direction, may come down to factors like the background check and which one never missed a workout.

In his own words:

Collins on his personality and versatility:

“A guy who is extremely confident in his play and ability and ready to come into the NFL and be coached at a very high level. A guy who wants to be the best at the next level and is ready to compete. That’s why I’m looking forward to being here doing all the drills and a couple weeks ago at the Senior Bowl . . . When I started playing football, I started playing defense and made the transition to playing offense in high school. I’ve always had a mentality of a defensive lineman, and I was able to bring that over to the offense, but also bring intelligence over to play offensive line. For me to go out there with that mentality and just get after it is something I bring to the table.”

Previously in Draft Countdown:

  1. jtaylor68 - Mar 27, 2015 at 1:51 PM

    If they don’t trade back….I would like to see the skins spend a later pick on Donovan Smith out of
    Penn St. Watched a video of him “owning” Randy Gregory who is ranked as one of the top pass rushers even after his failed drug test. Erik Flowers may be the safer pick at a higher price but If were going to use a later 1st after a trade go get the most versatile lineman……Cameron Erving. He is ranked top 5 in all positions which is too good to pass on.

    • redskinscaio - Mar 27, 2015 at 2:19 PM

      Man, I would be so happy if the Skins traded back and drafted Sherff and Erving to play Center. Holy cow, nobody would be able to stop Alfred Morris. Nobody.

      • jtaylor68 - Mar 27, 2015 at 9:45 PM

        That would be sweet.

    • sidepull - Mar 30, 2015 at 12:17 PM

      If we are going O line, I am with you. Erving all the way. Versatile for sure.

  2. troylok - Mar 27, 2015 at 5:04 PM

    I think this guy will make a better guard in the NFL. He’s a little light if I get the direction where the Redskins are headed with offensive linemen. Like others on the blog, I like Donovan Smith. In the lower rounds I like Corey Robinson out of South Carolina. Yeah, I believe heavy, tall guys equal long arms and power which aren’t bad qualities to have at right tackle.

  3. deepball1 - Mar 27, 2015 at 5:52 PM

    I don’t see the Redskins taking a tackle in the first round mainly because it would be stupid. There are no Pro Bowl right tackles to be found in the 1st round. The best offensive lineman and future pro bowl lineman is projected as a guard in the NFL. HOWEVER…..there are Pro Bowl Caliber pass rushers and the Skins can’t get to the QB so it seems like a NO BRAINER to those of us who have a brain.

    • st4hof - Mar 27, 2015 at 9:11 PM

      Couldn’t be further from ” No Brainer” IMO. There is possibly 5 guys going in the top 15 picks (provided Gregory just drops out of the top 10 and not landsliding out of the first). Out of the five, there is a very good chance only four are still available at pick #5. Of the four remaining only two should get a look at the 5 slot (Beasley, Ray over Gregory, and Dupree). Both Beasley and Ray are poor against the Run. One IS undersized and the other (Beasley) added over 20lbs of muscle pre-combine – forgive my skepticism, but I think he’s the first one suspended for PEDs-

    • skinsgame - Mar 27, 2015 at 9:50 PM

      It’ll be interesting having a blogger give us all insight on draft day as Scot gathers your input.

    • Rich Tandler - Mar 28, 2015 at 8:34 AM

      You know, I’ve found that if you really do have a brain, you don’t need to act superior and tell everyone that you do.

      Just an observation.

    • O - Mar 30, 2015 at 8:34 AM

      THIS IS THE MOST ACCURATE POST I’VE SEEN

    • Skulb - Apr 2, 2015 at 10:39 PM

      Very few things are this easy though. Alfred Morris is an example of someone basically nobody even looked at during the draft and he has been quite successful. It isn`t very hard to find examples of the reverse in the Redskins either. Moses was mentioned as a strong RG last season and then he did a statue job in his first game and that was him gone for the rest of last year. These combine horse parades where everything but their teeth is measured aren`t worth much in my opinion. What really matters is having a mind for the game and the right attitude. Some people just run faster if there`s someone to tackle in front of them.

  4. murphsman - Mar 27, 2015 at 5:58 PM

    Rich-excellent point about the need for someone who can play both tackle positions in case we can’t lock up Trent

  5. deepball1 - Mar 27, 2015 at 6:00 PM

    I am headed out to Church again tonight. I am going to pray everyday that Scott M is smart enough to take the BEST pure pass rusher in the draft….and his name is Shane Ray.

    • jtaylor68 - Mar 27, 2015 at 7:36 PM

      If your prayer is answered we get Beasley or trade down.

      • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Mar 27, 2015 at 8:33 PM

        I’m in the Beasley before Ray or Gregory camp. (But after Fowler, Jr.)

        As for a trade-down tackle, are you going to cover Ereck Flowers, Rich? You mentioned him back in January.

        http://realredskins.com/2015/01/28/big-o-linemen-may-be-in-short-supply-in-nfl-draft/
        ~

        • jtaylor68 - Mar 27, 2015 at 9:44 PM

          I would like to see Rich cover Erving from FSU. He is too versatile and ranked very high in three positions of the O-line. That is why I’m in “his camp” if we trade down.

      • jasonncros04 - Mar 28, 2015 at 9:47 AM

        if we don’t trade out the pick, got to draft beasely…. get some ot help if we trade out..

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