Why Didn’t the Saints Pick LSU’s La’el Collins?
For only the second time since 2003, the LSU Tigers didn't have a player selected in the first round of the NFL draft. Offensive Lineman La'el Collins is the highest rated Tiger in this year's draft and had been projected to go as high as a top 15 pick until news broke that he is being sought for questioning in the shooting death of a former girlfriend.
The Saints took an offensive tackle with the 13th pick, La'el Collins position, but instead of taking the top Tiger; Sean Payton chose Stanford tackle Andrus Peat.
Payton recapped the Saints 1st round and explained why they didn't take Collins. He was asked at a press conference if he had Peat ranked above Collins. He said,
Yes, from the beginning. Just the flexibility. We had a really good grade on Collins. Teams are projecting him at tackle and guard and our projection with him is as a guard. I think he’s a very dominant player, physical. We just saw a different type of player in Peat.
Payton seems to think Collins would be a guard at the NFL level and still has him highly ranked, so we'll see if the Saints make a move for Collins on Day 2 of the draft.
The Saints already have tackles Zach Strief and Terron Armstead in place, so Payton was asked if he though Peat would compete for a position at guard; to which he replied,
I don’t see that. He’s a tackle.