NFL Draft 2015: Kansas City Chiefs should avoid La’el Collins at all costs


Each year, in advance of the annual NFL Draft, teams spend a significant amount of time combing over the details of off-the-field incidents involving potential prospects. Inevitably, in the weeks leading up to the draft, we hear reports about various allegations and run-ins with the law.

LSU offensive lineman La’el Collins is the latest player to find himself in the national spotlight for the wrong reasons. On Tuesday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that police had questions for Collins regarding the shooting death of his ex-girlfriend. Collins is currently not a suspect. Police are only asking for his cooperation with their budding investigation. Make no mistake, I presume his innocence until otherwise proven. Today, I’m simply suggesting that the Kansas City Chiefs should abstain from drafting Collins, in any round, regardless of his involvement in this case.

Here are three reasons why:

1. The Jovan Belcher incident.

We’re all familiar with the tragedy that rocked the NFL world in December of 2012. Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his former girlfriend before turning a gun on himself in the parking lot of Arrowhead Stadium. The murder-suicide sent shockwaves through the league and raised awareness about a growing problem of domestic violence in professional football. The level of sensitivity surrounding this issue is at an all-time high. The Belcher incident took place under the previous regime. The current administration has been relatively drama-free, and I’d venture to guess they’d prefer to keep it that way. One good way to do that is to avoid a link with another player that could be involved with a murder case (especially one with a former partner).

2. High risk/low reward.

Collins could be a Justin Houston-esque steal if the Chiefs were to draft him anywhere beyond the opening round of the draft. He could be fully exonerated, but on the chance that he’s criminally tied to this investigation at a later time, it’ll prove troublesome for the organization’s image. Parting with Collins would be simple. It’s likely that there will be significant progress in this investigation long before he’d officially sign with the team. Kansas City could simply decline to make him an offer in the event that he’s arrested. If the opposite happens, the Chiefs could very well take a public relations beating for drafting a player in an NFL climate with elevated concerns about domestic abuse/violence.

3. A wasted pick.

It’s still possible that Collins will be completely cleared of any involvement with this case. The Chiefs could use a late-round pick to draft him and come away with the steal of the draft. If he’s later found to have a connection with the case, they’d only be parting ways with a pick that may not have made the active roster in 2015 anyway, right? That’s not at all unreasonable, but given general manager John Dorsey’s track record with late round picks, would you be willing to forfeit a pick unnecessarily?

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  • Think about it for a second. Just last year, the Chiefs drafted a Day 1 starter in the sixth round (Zach Fulton). Ryan Succop was a former seventh-round pick. This is a critical draft for this regime. It’s an even more critical time for a team on the cusp of serious contention. The Chiefs can’t afford wasted picks right now.

    Would you take a chance on Collins if you were in John Dorsey’s shoes? As a fan, would you approve of the Chiefs using a sixth or seventh round to draft him? Is this story overblown or are there legitimate reasons for pause? Use the comment section below to start the discussion. We’ll chat again next week at our normal Tuesday afternoon rendezvous point.

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    Until next time, Addicts!