La'el Collins is one of the top offensive lineman in the draft and is considered by many to be a strong choice for the Rams pick in the first round. Is he capable and worth a top ten pick in the draft? Let's find out.
Collins has the potential to be a good pass protector. He's normally fast off the snap and has surprisingly quick footwork for someone as big as he is. His hand placement is average and he normally relies on his upper body strength to stop defenders.
That strength is his best asset here and he's easily able to stonewall lineman who try to bull rush him. If Collins can get his hands on you, it's pretty much game over:
You can see him at the bottom of the screen simply drive the end into the ground after absorbing the initial contact. His footwork is a little jerky, but his feet aren't slow. His hands are active and he uses them to swat the end off of him, then into the ground.
Here's another example of him neutralizing a defender. You simply can't come straight at him:
Collins has a tendency to lunge instead of waiting for defenders to come to him - leaving him open for counters and swim moves where he can be brushed aside. Whether it's an over-aggression issue or just raw technique (or both) it's something he'll have to work on if he wants to have continued success in the NFL:
Someone missed a holding call, no?
Saying Collins is aggressive is a understatement. Collins is a violent blocker, constantly pushing and attacking until the whistles blow. He doesn't miss any opportunity to push or block a defender; truly a mauler in nature. This is an area that Collins excels in. Take a look at this play against Ole Miss. Collins doesn't stop blocking until the whistle:
He's easily able to push defenders back and has good awareness to disengage with his hands before the defender get's too far outside. Then he resets his body and buries him. Here is another example against Auburn:
This is widely why so many scouts and pundits are high on him. The defender tries to disengage, but La'el drives him back and throws him to the ground. When you look at the tape, there are times where he's simply unstoppable.
Collins is also adept at getting to the second level. In fact, it appears as though he prefers to be on the move and tries to always attack the defense if possible. His balance isn't always there as his aggressive nature tends to make him lunge if a defender isn't right in front of him, but he's easily able to disengage a lineman and attack a linebacker. He was simply able to dominate Auburn in this fashion.
La'el Collins has the chance to be something special. In the run game, he's an absolute beast. More often then not he's able to completely take players out of the game. His aggressive nature makes him a great fit for the Rams, but it also leaves him open to counters and speed; things he has trouble handling.
Still, his flaws are fixable. If a staff can work out the kinks in his game, Collins could be a lights out guard. He has the potential to be something special if he kicks inside.