Report: La’el Collins Could Go Undrafted Unless He Is Exonerated

Courtesy of USA Today Sports

La’el Collins is considered one of the best offensive line prospects in the 2015 NFL draft. The former LSU player was expected to go in Rounds 1 or 2, but now that may all change due to a murder investigation that may not even prove to involve him.

Collins’ pregnant ex-girlfriend, Brittany Mills, was shot and killed on April 24 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Though not a suspect in the murder at this time, Baton Rouge authorities want to meet with Collins to glean any information they can about Mills’ murder and who may have killed her.

On Tuesday, Collins’ attorney Jim Boren told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Collins will meet with Baton Rouge police, saying “We took the investigation seriously. We’ve tried to rule him out as a suspect. We’re going to provide that information to the police, and ultimately [Collins] will sit down and talk to them. But the timing is poor.”

Boren added:

We have identified where La’el was the day the lady was murdered to establish he was nowhere around. We have offered to give names, witnesses who can vouch for his whereabouts that day until after the woman’s body was discovered. We believe that when [police] have verified that information, that they will rule him out as a suspect in the homicide, just as I believe he should be.”

Pro Football Talk reported on Wednesday that Collins would be leaving Chicago, the site of the 2015 draft, to head back to Louisiana to talk to authorities. No date for that meeting has yet been set, though the NFL Network’s Albert Breer reported on Thursday that it will be scheduled for after the draft, which is bad news for Collins’ hopes to get picked up by a team on Thursday—or at all.

Breer also reported that the “lack of closure” on Collins’ role, if any, in the investigation has led to “several teams” staying completely away from drafting Collins this year:

Pro Football Talk’s Josh Alper has heard the same chatter, reporting on Thursday that, “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.”

Alper tries to spin this development into a positive, saying that Collins could have a chance to pick his team should be an undrafted free agent rather than a drafted player. But the timing of this investigation couldn’t have been at a worse time.

Even if Collins was nowhere near the scene of the murder, as his attorney contends, the fact that this matter won’t be resolved until after the draft means this could cost Collins millions of dollars.

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