With a variety of draft needs to bolster their 2015 roster, the Detroit Lions ought to be content to let a solid prospect fall in their lap when they make the 23rd pick of the 2015 NFL Draft. That very well could be an offensive lineman, as it was in Sayre Bedinger’s 2015 NFL mock draft on fellow FanSided Site NFL Mocks.
La’el Collins, Offensive Tackle, LSU
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"The Lions upgrade their offensive line here with big La’el Collins out of LSU. He is a mauler in the run game and a better pass protector than you’d think. He is a long, strong tackle prospect whose size indicates he could also play guard if developed there."
Depth and uneven performances were a problem for the Lions’ offensive line this past season so an upgrade is definitely needed. Travis Swanson will be an upgrade over Dominic Raiola at center but Robs Sims may not return at left guard.
Riley Reiff has performed like an average left tackle and there isn’t any reason to believe he will further develop into one of the NFL’s premier left tackles. He could be a solution at left guard, but that leaves an awfully important hole protecting Matthew Stafford’s blindside and Collins may not be the guy to fill it.
Collins was not included in Mel Kiper’s first mock draft and he went later than the 23rd pick in Todd McShay’s first mock draft. However, Collins is highly regarded on the CBS Sports big board, ranking 14th overall. In the latest mock drafts from CBS Sports draft analysts Rob Rang and Dane Brugler, Collins was off the board well before the Lions pick, going 10th and 14th respectively.
Even with the favorable ranking, Collins’ CBS Sports scouting report notes a lack of elite balance and problems dealing with speed rushers. Without being convinced Collins has a long future at left tackle, I would be inclined to address interior offensive line/right tackle depth after the first round. NFL teams will get a good look at Collins as a left tackle in this week’s Senior Bowl practices and a good week should solidify him as a first round pick.
Check out the full first round mock draft on NFL Mocks.
Love the pick or do you wish the Lions pick went in another direction based on how the first 22 picks played out?
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