LSU offensive tackle La'el Collins is considered one of the top NFL prospects at his position for the 2015 draft, but the way Tigers assistant coach Frank Wilson sees it, Collins is more than that.
A lot more.
"If La'el Collins is not a top-five draft pick, I'll kiss my own [expletive]," Wilson said, according to foxsports.com.
Texas A&M offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi is generally considered the top 2015 tackle prospect in the SEC, and last January he received a first-round draft grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board for the 2014 draft before deciding to return for his senior year. In projecting Collins, a senior, as a top-five pick, Wilson is more or less putting Collins in the same class as Ogbuehi as a prospect, if not better.
"La'el had a monstrous game," Wilson said of Collins' performance in the Tigers' home win over Ole Miss Saturday. "I've only gotten to play No. 24, and I've already counted six pancake blocks."
Added LSU and former Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron: "He was dominant (Saturday) night. He's improving at such a rapid rate. He's probably half as good right now as he's gonna ultimately be. La'el has the heart of a lion. He's a warrior. His leadership has been as good as I've been around. There are very few guys who you can legitimately say can be dominant tackles or dominant guards. He can. To have that much versatility, that is uncommon."
Collins said before the season that he models his game after Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Jason Peters. For all of LSU's success in producing NFL talent, the Tigers have not produced a first-round pick on the offensive line since 1998, when the Pittsburgh Steelers chose guard Alan Faneca No. 26 overall.
If Wilson proves correct, that will change emphatically next spring.