2015 NFL Draft Scouting Report – La’El Collins, OT LSU


LSU left tackle La’El Collins is the best offensive line prospect the school has had in years.  Collins has started the past two seasons at left tackle after playing left guard as a sophomore.  The massive tackle opted to return to school for another season to finish out his degree and pad his resume in both the number of snaps he has played as well as his penchant for knockdown blocks.

In the Bayou Bengals’ scheme, Collins has been a powerful earth moving run blocker as well as manning the blind side for their passing game. LSU does little in terms of disguising how they want to attack the opponent and is more inclined to dare opponents to try to beat them up front, which has been more difficult for opponents than it sounds.  The LSU does run a pro style offense in terms of concepts, so while Collins has not been asked to do a ton of pulling or getting out in space on the edge, he has been playing in a system that will translate effectively to the next level.

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Vitals & Build

  • Born July 26, 1993 (Will be 21 at the time of the draft, turn 22 during training camp)
  • 6’5″ 321lbs (Listed)

Collins is a massive, looking the part of the prototype offensive tackle.   He is extremely strong and carries his weight very well.  There is no reason to suggest Collins cannot continue to get stronger at the next level, but he does not need to get any bigger at this point and just needs to maximize what he already brings to the table physically.  Collins is ready physically right out of the box.


Collins is an above average athlete and he may be even better than he shows on tape.  In pass protection, Collins is pretty light on his feet, but he is also patient and deliberate with little wasted motion.

  • This looks about as quick on the kick slide outside as Collins is capable.  Not bad, but not great.

In terms of a run blocker, Collins moves well going forward and can get to the second level.  There are too many examples where he is off balance because he so far over his pads, but when he is balanced, he can get there with relative ease and punish a linebacker.

  • Collins shows how easily he can get to the second level and in this situation, under control, makes a good block.

Run Blocking

Collins is a powerful run blocker that is able to get movement against the opponent and create running lanes.  There is a feast or famine element to his game because he tends to lean so far forward that there are times when he can be off balance and opponents can get off of his block or cause him to fall on the ground to get around him.  When he locks onto an opponent, he is difficult to shake and he will drive his legs and shove opponents down the field or into the ground.

Part of the reason Collins tends to lunge is it is an easy and effective way to make sure he is playing behind his pads and able to maximize his power.  It is a risky proposition and playing on the edge at tackle, it can be more difficult because there is more space for the opponent to operate and potentially avoid it, leaving Collins missing or all too often on the ground.

  • Collins lunges and is off balance where the Wisconsin defender can just swim over the block, leaving Collins on the ground and the defender with a chance to make the play.
  • Here, Collins fires out to block down and hits his target, then drives him down the field and buries him.
  • Despite not really getting an initial block, Collins shows off his power and bulldozes the left side down the field.
  • Despite tight quarters and a pretty loaded box, Collins fires out and ends up not getting a block on anyone, landing on the turf for his trouble.

Collins has the ability to be a powerful run blocker, but the way he currently plays, it is difficult to predict the results of a given play.  He can either dominate the opponent and possibly open up a big running lane or he can miss the player entirely and get the ball carrier killed.  It has to be a little nerve racking for the ball carrier as he does not know if he has a huge hole or he needs to brace for impact.

The best thing Collins can do is become a more natural bender, so that he can get behind his pads without having so much of his weight going so far forward and causing him to come off balance.  Failing that, Collins needs to at least become more accurate in how he fires out so he is able to avoid missing and ending up on the ground so much.  The problem for Collins is that NFL defenders will be far more savvy on how to punish him for getting too far forward.  If he can get more consistent, he can be a huge asset as a run blocker at the next level.

Pass Blocking

Collins is an excellent pass blocker relative to what he is able to do.  There will be critics of his range and ability to kick out, but he is extremely reliable when it comes to protecting his quarterback’s blind side due in no small part to his ballast and length.

Collins is both effective and patient when it comes to his ability to mirror with little if any wasted movement.  As a result, he is able to react to quick rushes both inside of him, outside of him and is great at taking on bull rushes.  His strength makes it difficult for opponents to move him inside or shrink the pocket, making it so his quarterback is not only going to stay upright, but has space to operate consistently.

  • Collins does the job here in pass pro, but not simply satisfied with stopping his opponent, he starts driving his legs and moves him completely out of the play to send a message and wear him down, showing both a high level of effort and the desire to be a finisher.  Coaches love this from their offensive linemen.
  • Collins holds his water long enough to make sure the linebacker is not coming, then demonstrates excellent awareness and field vision to come back and helps his tight end to seal off the defensive end.  His quarterback still takes a sack here, but Collins does everything he can to keep him upright.  Terrific play.
  • Collins kicks out under control, comes back inside and pushes the defensive end into the guard.  He then recognizes and reacts to the twist and is able to easily get outside and pick up the defensive tackle, washing him out of the play.


Collins has to get more comfortable being able to punch without feeling the need to lunge as a run blocker.  While he is able to land some devastating blocks in the running game, it can be far too feast or famine.  His punch is far more effective in the passing game as he is able to stays balanced and continues mirroring and moving his feet.

Collins is more than strong enough to be effective as a run blocker, so the style of run blocking he employs is overdoing it.  The highlight knockdown blocks and pancakes may look good but if he can back off slightly and not feel the need to lunge, his results could be more consistent and overall more reliable.


Collins’ feet and lateral movement are going to be a hotly discussed topic because he is not an ideal athlete in that regard.  Whatever he lacks in his movement skills, he makes up for by being patient and efficient.  Little movement is wasted and he does a great job of reacting to what the opponent is showing him.  Collins is going to want to keep working and trying to improve his lateral agility, but his ability to mirror is a difficult skill to pick up and he is rarely stressed by the opponent.

System Fit

  • Gap Scheme Tackle

A team that runs a higher percentage of gap scheme blocking is the best fit for Collins.  He is far better suited to be a bulldozer as opposed to pulling and being a position blocker.  Collins can contribute in those elements, but he is at his best when he gets behind his pads and drives his legs into the guy lined up over him.

  • Zone Scheme Tackle

Collins has the ability to play zone style blocking because he does show great awareness, especially in pass protection.  He needs to address his balance issues and keep his feet under him so he can work more effectively in that style, but he has shown he can get to spots, seal off opponents and work his way down the field.

  • Gap Scheme Guard

Undoubtedly, there will be those that think Collins should move inside because he does not have that top of the line athleticism to protect the edge.  Certainly, he would have an easier time in pass pro inside, but the inconsistencies he shows in the run are not eliminated by sliding him inside.  The issues he needs to work out have a minimal improvement for his ability to help the run, so he is actually more useful as a run blocking tackle.

Draft Projection

La’El Collins projects as a Top 75 Pick, but the one thing that could hurt him is if teams find themselves thinking he is not a good fit at tackle and only view him as a tackle.

The clips were provided by DraftBreakdown.com