Former LSU offensive lineman La’el Collins, who was on track to be a first-round pick in tonight’s NFL draft until this week, has yet to speak to Baton Rouge police who want to question him in relation to an ongoing murder investigation. Police say that Collins is not a suspect, but he won’t meet with them until after the draft, meaning nobody has any clue about what the fuck to do about him.
No general manager wants to have to explain to his fanbase why he drafted a player—official suspect or not—who is in any way connected to a murder investigation, so there’s a good chance Collins goes undrafted tonight. Fearing that outcome, Collins’s agent petitioned the NFL to allow Collins to withdraw from the draft, and then later enter the supplemental draft after he has been (hopefully) cleared of any wrongdoing. The NFL isn’t having it:
What we may very well end up seeing tonight is the cold machinations of an NFL team’s risk-assessment process laid bare. At what point does the PR hit that comes with drafting a guy who may have had something to do with the murder of a pregnant woman get outweighed by the value of getting a first-round talent way below his slot? The third round? Sixth round? This is all kind of weird and icky to think about given the context, but if there’s one thing the NFL draft is good at, it’s making us feel weird and icky.