Increasing feeling that La’el Collins undraftable unless he’s exonerated

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On Tuesday, the attorney for LSU tackle La’el Collins said that his client would sit down and talk to Baton Rouge police as part of their investigation into the murder of his pregnant ex-girlfriend.

Collins has not been named as a suspect in the case and reportedly left Chicago ahead of the draft in order to facilitate that meeting with authorities. There was no contact with the police on Wednesday, however, and a lieutenant with the Baton Rouge Police Department told John Kryk of the Toronto Sun that as “of this morning, detectives working the case still have not heard from” Collins or his attorney.

Collins’s attorney said that he was “nowhere around” Brittany Mills at the time of her murder, but his pro career may be on hold until there’s some more certainty on where Collins fits into the investigation. There has been increasing talk in league circles that Collins neither draftable nor employable until/unless he is fully exonerated of any wrongdoing in the matter by law enforcement.

Should that hold and should exoneration happen at some point after Saturday, Collins would be in the unusual position of being a prospective early pick who is able to pick his team rather than have things left up to chance in the draft. That’s a total hypothetical at this point, but it might become Collins’s best-case scenario if the matter stretches past the weekend.

76 responses to “Increasing feeling that La’el Collins undraftable unless he’s exonerated

  1. I know it’s potentially serious, but there is NO downside to grabbing in in the 5th-7th rounds. If it turns out he’s clean, that is the ultimate steal. If it goes South, you probably weren’t keeping a player in that round anyhow, or at least a high probability you might not.

  2. If this guy goes un drafted and gets cleared can he still demand a top 20 contract? Will be a interesting free agent to say the least.

  3. Is there some kind of disconnect here like his attorney contacted the Baton Rouge police but not the specific detectives in charge of the case?

    This is too weird. I wouldn’t touch him with a 10-foot pole.

  4. If it’s still up in the air he will get drafted in a later round. The team just waits until if and when he is cleared to sign him. If he gets charged they just don’t sign him and he is never on their roster.

  5. What is up with this draft class?

    Out of the first round talent pool: One being investigated for murder, one busted for DUI after combine, one failed drug test at combine, one caught with weed…

    Is it really that difficult to make proper decisions and stay away from trouble before the biggest day of your career?

  6. Talk about horrible timing. It’s all speculation right now, but you really can’t blame teams for running away from the kid in light of recent cases with other players. but if he turns out to be innocent, it will be a great redemption story, and a great deal for the team that gets him.

  7. Undraftable??? Not a chance. Talk about your ultimate value/steal of the draft. There are probably a large # of GMs who are hoping they can land him, now he won’t be taken in the 1st and probably 2nd rounds.

    Go for it Spielman. Get Trae Waynes in the 1st and a LB in the 2nd, and BTW, Collins. Maybe he was involved or maybe he wasn’t. But if he wasn’t, whoa, he would be a great Left Guard on the Viking line. But the draft is a crapshoot anyway, so show some.

  8. someone will spend a late round pick on him just in case he is officially cleared.

  9. I’m already tired of hearing about his lawyer and how he’s so eager to prove his innocence. If that were the case why didn’t they meet with the police when they first contacted him? So instead he flies back from Chicago and still has not made himself available to the police. It makes absolutely no sense unless they are trying to cover their tracks.

  10. NFL should pull him out of the draft and allow him to enter supplemental draft if/once cleared.
    If he was involved at all, why would NFL allow itself/teams to be associated with it

  11. Just because he wasn’t present doesn’t mean he couldn’t have arranged for the murder.

    But given he would likely have been a 1st round pick he could easily have paid the child support even if he wanted nothing to do with the mother. Doesn’t make sense but then most of the murders out there do. Stupidity marches onwards.

    Hopefully he had nothing to do with it and eventually gets signed to a decent contract.

  12. If innocent he needs to get in front of this. He’s getting bad advice. I’d be on every camera I can find saying the cops are screwing me over.

  13. No matter how good it goes for this young man there is no way possible he is completely cleared by Sat. No way. He can tell his story and his attorney is probably gathering depositions on his whereabouts the day of the. Rime right now. Regardless, a good PD will take it’s time sorting out facts in regards to the crime. If he is still there in the 6 or 7!round? Then it’s a no brainer, a team will take the chance. If not? The kid becomes a FA and can sign an incentive based contract with whatever team he chooses and this may just be his plan.

    If he does become a FA and is eventually cleared of any wrong doing, the team he chooses will most certainly make room for him

    I can see MAYBE the police, after speaking with him making a statement something like. We have spoken to La’el and we are in the process of following up on the accounts of his story “. The following up part is going to take time. No PD is just going to accept as truth the whereabouts of an individual on depositon by others as to him being here or there. No, to be cleared every single witness to his whereabouts on the day of the crime will be interviewed and each story will be verified for truth. This will take weeks/ months in itself

  14. I’m no crime or law expert, but when someone very close to you is mysteriously murdered and the police want to call you in to talk to you about it, you most certainly are a suspect until found otherwise. Collins not doing everything he can to get in there and clear his name before the draft is highly suspicious, IMO. Don’t mean to say he’s guilty, but something is very fishy here.

  15. Has anybody seen this guy since the cops have been trying to talk to him? Might be time to start checking car trunks in Tennessee.

  16. Really, if I was a GM, and he’s sitting there in a the later rounds I’m picking him. Most of the guys 5th round and later don’t make the team as it is. If he’s guilty, dump him. If not, you’ve got a steal.

    Although, even though he’s not a suspect yet, that could change.

  17. If he were still an L$U player, the Baton Rouge police would probably have covered up this story much like the Tallahassee Police Department did for almost every member of the FSU football team.

  18. I wonder if he’s trying to run. Based on his 40 time, he could be in Mexico by November.

  19. Collins has been viewed as a character guy and a leader. Take him late and you may have a steal if he is innocent. Ih he is involved, all you’ve lost is a late pick.

  20. There were already some concerns about his intelligence (12 wonderlic) going into this draft.

    This type of criminal situation surrounding a prospect (even far away) seems tough to swallow.

    I might still waste a 7th round pick to see how it plays out.

  21. Whoever takes him should just pose him in front of the commissioner’s exempt jersey.

  22. Can a undrafted free agent negotiate their own contract? If so, I can see some crazy Agents thinking this could be a viable option to bypass the draft and pick the team you want to go to. Think what Crabtree could of got paid from the Cowboys or Jets back when he was drafted.

  23. Innocent until proven guilty and all that, but the situation is just hinkey. Timing and circumstances just seem to suspicious. Before the draft, preggers ex-girlfriend about to pop. Now he’s skipping the draft, but delaying the meeting with the cops. I sure hope the guy is innocent, but he and his attorney are not painting a good picture here.

    Given the high draft status of this guy it’s possible that the NFL league reps are also talking to this guy’s attorneys, telling him to lay low as to not throw any shade on the draft. Goodell doesn’t want to have anything crash his draft party.

  24. I agree with the idea of letting him enter a supplemental draft. But the time that would take place, teams will know enough to make an informed decision.

  25. This just doesn’t make sense at all. If the kid is innocent why wouldn’t he clear his name prior to the draft especially with all the press making it clear he will drop in the draft, especially from the 1st round where the big money is had.
    Even if he becomes a undrafted free agent he still stands to lose a large amount of upfront money. right ??
    This is ALL ABOUT THE MONEY !!
    Something stinks. I wouldn’t touch him with a 10 ft pole if he doesn’t clear the air. I think he’s involved in some form.
    He may have paid someone to murder her and get out of a paternity suit. Just plain dumb.

  26. “Undraftable??? Not a chance. Talk about your ultimate value/steal of the draft. There are probably a large # of GMs who are hoping they can land him, now he won’t be taken in the 1st and probably 2nd rounds.”

    So the Pats should have telepathically known that Hernandez was going to murder people, but its ok to draft this guy when there is a possibility he’s involved with one ?

    That’s called a double standard by the way.

    “Can a undrafted free agent negotiate their own contract?”

    Of course but most undrafted FA contracts are for very low numbers with signing bonuses from 5k to 25k. Plus a player or their agent can’t refuse to have them participate in the draft from what I know. If someone drafts them they can’t just refuse to accept being drafted, doesn’t work that way.

  27. Could Collins have a legitimate claim that this investigation has injured him in any way? If he falls like a stone in the draft, he’ll never be able to recoup that money.

  28. First of all if he’s cleared and drafted in the 6th or 7th round he will not sign a contract at that tender. Any agent will advise him to sit out a year and re-enter the draft.

    If he’s not drafted he just became a 1st round free agent. That means he gets a big contract and gets to pick his team. Win Win.

    If he’s guilty his lawyer doesn’t give a darn about the draft, just trying to get him off.

    If he’s innocent his agent knows he can’t be cleared emphatically enough to change his draft status, nobody is picking him up in the first 4 rounds until the mess is behind him. I would advise him to not meet with police either until after the draft so nobody drafts him. Then clear your name and become a highly sought after free agent.

  29. He should definitely just go talk to the cops. That worked out great for Brian Banks.

  30. Enough is enough. Just picking him sends the message that the NFL doesn’t care about the possibility you may be involved in a murder. Teams need to start using better judgment on these kids who have the possibility of criminal behavior hanging over them. If he is cleared, enter him in a supplemental draft and base his contract accordingly.

  31. PU…..something stinks…..i wouldnt even topuch him in the 7th rd…….i mean anybody with a winning lotto ticket would make for darn sure he could cash that ticket….the fact that he is nowhere to be found, just means one thing….GUILTY (of something)

  32. If he is guilty lets layout the Why (and he is completly innocent til proven otherwise obviously)

    1. He calculated say 5 grand a month times 12 times 18years
    Comes to over 1 million dollars of his take home money after taxes.
    That my friends is motive where satin and greed converge.
    2. Fishy factor!why is she getting whacked one week before
    He is going from broke college student to multi millionaire via top 20 draft pick. And she is about to give birth to the baby)
    Who knocks on this 9month pregnant womens door to waist her in cold blood. Was it a hitman?
    When you look at it for what it is.
    While he is innocent at this time
    He has to be the primary suspect of orchestrating this tragic evil event
    That happened at this time.
    I hope he had nothing to do with it!

  33. If he still played for LSU the Baton Rouge cops would probably have this covered up and the case closed, but since he’s no longer needed in Death Valley, he’ll probably catch the case.

  34. Whatever team takes that flier/late pick will determine what media attention there is and how it plays out. For instance, certain teams will get a pass from the media if they take him and he’s linked to the homicide. Certain other teams absolutely will not get the same consideration from the exact same media outlets. One team might get the respectful ‘taking a chance to improve their team’ and others might receive the ‘troubling pattern of drafting bad people’ storyline.

    This isn’t over by a long shot. This will be the story from now until kickoff.

  35. I have no idea whether they would do it or not, but with 11 picks in the draft, if he was still sitting there in the 6th or 7th, I would have NO problem with Schneider and Carroll throwing a pick on him. If he is exonerated, they get a 1st round OL for a 7th round pick (and more importantly, at a serious cap discount). If he’s charged, you wasted a 7th round pick, cut him and move on with your 10 other picks.

  36. Honestly, If I were him I would rather go undrafted than in the later rounds. If he is exonerated he would have his choice of teams, and wouldn’t be bound by the draft order salary bracketing. It is my understanding, and this could be totally wrong, that teams can tender any offer they like to an undrafted FREE AGENT. Just food for thought.

  37. Innocent until proven guilty, that’s the first thing. Second thing: The murder was a hit. Collins ain’t even got to be in the same state at the time of the shooting to be involved in it, so his attorney needs to shut up. Cops are sneaky, so don’t believe what they say publicly.

  38. if this guy gets cleared and the jags take fowler, expect the jags to try and get this guy, too. fowler said this guy made him strive to be better in college cause he always beat the crap out of him at the florida vs lsu games. solid tackle and will make their pass rusher better every day against each other in practice, thats a win win.

  39. Can’t wait for the article saying who ever takes him needs to be stripped of future picks

  40. If he’s drafted he could refuse to sign and then re-enter the draft in a year.

    So, no, if he’s free and clear you’re not paying him peanuts.

  41. Motive is easy to speculate. He didn’t want to be responsible for the kid and the girl financially so he had them bumped off.

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