St. Louis Rams wimped out on drafting La’el Collins
By Spencer Engel
By now, you probably know the story of La’el Collins, which I wrote about before the draft.
The Cliff Notes version is that Collins was wanted for questioning in connection to the murder of a pregnant woman he used to date. Although he wasn’t a suspect in the case, the stink of being involved in such a case – especially three days before the draft – kept teams away from Collins in the first couple rounds, where he otherwise would’ve been drafted.
According to new MMQB piece, once Collins slipped past the third round, his agents really didn’t want him to be drafted. The idea was that Collins would actually have more power and earning potential if he were to have the freedom to sign as an undrafted free agent.
Judging by the piece, it seems pretty obvious that the Rams were one of the teams that got strong-armed by Collins’ agency.
Rather than taking the risk and drafting Collins anyway, the Rams backed off, and Collins ended up signing with the Dallas Cowboys.
This must have been awfully frustrating from the Rams’ perspective because Collins is most likely better than all four offensive linemen the Rams drafted – at least that’s how he was graded before he was wanted for questioning by police. Even if Collins had raised a big fuss, who cares? The success rate of seventh-round picks is already pretty tiny – especially so for the Rams. Why not take a shot with a guy who has a first-round pedigree and hope he eventually plays ball, signs a contract, and contributes to the team?
Clearly, Collins’ agents were going to raise a big fuss if he got drafted because they did the math and figured Collins would likely have a higher earning potential as an UDFA (assuming he plays to his potential). However, it’s also clear his agents were bluffing. What would they have done? Have Collins hold out the entire year? Bully the Rams into releasing him? I’m not buying it.
The Rams clearly need as much talent as they can get on their offensive line, and they passed up a golden opportunity to draft a guy in the seventh round who could provide just that.
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