LSU offensive tackle La’El Collins, a first-round talent whose draft stock plummeted when police said they wanted to question him in a murder case, plans to sit out the 2015 season if he is not drafted tonight.
Collins’s representatives are saying that if he’s not selected in Rounds 2 or 3, he won’t play. If a team drafts him in Round 4 or later, he’ll decline to sign with that team, and he also wouldn’t sign as an undrafted free agent. Instead, Collins would re-enter the 2016 draft.
Although the police are not saying Collins is a suspect in the murder of his ex-girlfriend, it’s extremely unlikely that Collins will be drafted tonight because police haven’t publicly exonerated him. So if Collins is serious about this, he’s probably not going to play this year.
But it remains to be seen whether Collins is serious about this. If he goes undrafted and is exonerated, he’ll have many teams offering to sign him as an undrafted free agent. He might then decide that he’d rather make the hundreds of thousands of dollars he can make this season as an undrafted rookie than make zero this year and roll the dice on some team drafting him in the first round and paying him millions next year.
For now, however, Collins has much more serious issues to deal with. He’s scheduled to speak with the police on Monday.