Collins Signing Boosts Cowboys’ Draft Haul


The Cowboys' roller-coaster draft week ended at its peak when they announced the signing of LSU offensive lineman La'El Collins Thursday night.

Dallas' defense received a boost with the picks of defensive back Byron Jones and edge rusher Randy Gregory, but the team left a lot of talent on the board in rounds 3 through 7. After the dust settled on the draft, though, the undrafted Collins made the Cowboys' draft a winner at this point.

Best OL in the Draft?

With no clear-cut top offensive lineman in the 2015 NFL Draft, picking a favorite is a matter of preference. Collins was voted the best offensive lineman in the SEC in 2014 and was the draft's best combination of versatility, upside and floor available.

  • Strengths: Underrated athleticism. Nasty demeanor. Experience zone blocking. Good at second level. Very good kick slide. Mirrors well.
  • Weaknesses: Blocks too upright at times, making him susceptible to bull rush. Loses balance at times.

Collins is good enough to take over for Doug Free right away and move Free back to his better role as swing tackle. His ideal frame, strength and athleticism make him a versatile option capable of playing either guard or tackle spot.

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Draft Class Boost

Jones (No. 26 overall on my Cowboys Big Board) and Gregory (No. 2 overall) were great picks and fifth-round edge defender Ryan Russell out of Purdue has upside as a strongside defensive end in the Cowboys scheme, but I thought the team reached for half their picks.

Even with the questionable Day-3 picks, though, the Cowboys ended up with arguably the best player available at three important positions thanks to the signing of Collins (No. 16 overall). It's at least three years too soon to grade the Cowboys' 2015 draft class, but it's not too soon to say the team and fans should be happy about the newest players.

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