La'El Collins Went From Surefire First Round Pick To Undrafted Due To Murder Investigation

Published on May 7th, 2023 2:39 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

The story of LaEl Collins and his NFL draft.  In photo:  Cowboys 71 jersey. You can't help but feel for La'el Collins, who watched millions of dollars evaporate literally overnight due to an ongoing murder investigation that he wasn't even a suspect in.

LSU offensive tackle La'el Collins entered the 2015 NFL Draft as a consensus top 10 draft pick.

At the very least, Collins was going to be a first-round selection, which would result in a rookie contract worth in the tens of millions of dollars.

Within a few days, Collins would go undrafted, passed over by all of the 32 teams in the NFL.

What happened?


Prior to the draft, Collins' former girlfriend was shot to death.

Collins was to be interviewed by Baton Rouge police as a "person of interest" - not a suspect.

Collins was anxious to be interviewed by the police, as he wanted to clear his name as soon as possible. The draft was just around the corner, and Collins knew that this could significantly impact his value.

Police would end up postponing their interview with Collins until AFTER the draft, which caused all of the teams to pass on him, as he hadn't yet cleared his name.


Collins, who saw his draft value plummet, tried to withdraw from the draft to enter the supplemental draft, but the NFL wouldn't allow it.

Collins and his agent then told all of the teams that he wouldn't play for any team if they drafted him after the third round, but the NFL rejected that as well.

In the end, Collins went undrafted.


Collins would eventually clear his name, though he was undrafted and without a team.

The Dallas Cowboys would sign Collins to a three-year deal.

After signing a two-year extension in 2017 for $15.4 million, Collins inked a very large extension in 2019, which ended up being worth $50 million.


Collins managed to power through the unfortunate situation and put together a very strong NFL career.

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