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La'el Collins meeting with New Orleans Saints

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BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU offensive lineman La'el Collins met with the New Orleans Saints following his brief pro day workout Friday, and if the 2014 All-SEC tackle gets to play NFL football just a short drive from his hometown of Baton Rouge, that will be just fine by him.


» Path to the Draft: Follow La'el Collins' draft journey


"For me it's huge, being able to talk to a winning program that's so successful and has such great coaches. It's great to talk football with them," Collins said. "But for me it will be like any other experience -- I'm not really a fan of any NFL team. I believe whoever drafts me, that will be my team forever."

The Saints hold the No. 13 pick of the draft, which is a bit higher than the mid-to-late first-round range Collins is expected to be chosen in the 2015 NFL Draft. His draft stock is somewhat dependent on which and how many NFL clubs believe he has a future as a left tackle. Some scouts have projected him as a guard. It's a position he would embrace if asked to play it, but Collins leaves no doubt about his confidence as a pass protector on the left side.

"For me, all that is just talk. Every team, every scout, every offensive line coach that has worked me out have said definitely that I'm a left tackle," he said. "So for me that's just talk. But whoever drafts me, they'll put me where they want me, where they need me."

Saints assistant general manager Jeff Ireland said NFL teams are more willing than in the past to draft a guard in the first round, anyway.

"If they're good players, why not? If they're going to help you win, and be consistent, and they're good character guys, why not?," Ireland said.

Having performed well enough at the NFL Scouting Combine to skip pro day drills, Collins only participated in position drills Friday. Offensive line coaches from the Cleveland Browns (picks No. 12 and No. 19) and New York Giants (No. 9 pick) put Collins through his drill work. Collins said he already has visited one NFL club, which he declined to name, and said he has about 15 other visits set up for the month of April.

"It's going to be a really busy month," he said.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread

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