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Chargers Draft Prospect Breakdown: La’el Collins

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The San Diego Chargers made their most crucial move of the off-season thus far by resigning LT King Dunlap to four year extension. With veterans Nick Hardwick and Jeromey Clary retiring following the 2014 season, the Chargers are desperately needing to find some future continuity for their struggling offensive line. It appears as if the staff does like what they see in 2nd year player Chris Watt at center, but it remains to be seen if he will move back to his drafted position of guard. GM Tom Telesco has made it clear that he is not quite ready to throw in the towel on mammoth DJ Fluker at right tackle. That leaves the interior line open for a young draft talent to make an impact. Here is a quick draft breakdown of one potential prospect for the Bolts to invest a first round pick in.

La’el Collins : OT – LSU : 6’4″, 305 lbs

Although he starred at left tackle for LSU, most analysts and scouts see Collins as either a developmental right tackle or plug and play right guard. As a suit for the Chargers he would most likely project as a guard to take the place of Jeromey Clary, with Watt staying at center. Collins is a monster run blocker who tends to refuse to let a defender go once he has latched on. If you are looking to get your run game clicking, this is the type of big mauler you want paving the way. As the best run blocking prospect in the draft, Collins is quick off the snap and has enough quickness to get to the next level.

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Where Collins is most criticized is his abilities against a strong edge rusher. He tends to lunge or get caught too strong in his initial move. His powerful steps result in a bit of imbalance in pass protection. He is an extremely explosive lineman, but needs to learn a little patience and technique if he is going to develop into a tackle at the next level. Here is an example of Collins getting beat in pursuit. You can see his hard plant to the outside initially leaves him off balance and unable to recover. This in turn leaves his interior side gap wide open for pursuit.

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Could you imagine this big boy plowing through to the next level alongside mammoth DJ Fluker? Remember, in 2014 OT Zach Martin was drafted by the Cowboys to fill a void on the interior of their line. After starting his career at guard, he helped plow the way for league leading rusher Demarco Murray all while earning pro-bowl honors as a rookie. Collins has elite run blocking ability and would be an instant impact player for the Bolts.

Should the Chargers invest a first round pick in this monster mauler?

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