With a spot in the first round of next month’s NFL draft virtually secured — perhaps a top-15 pick — LSU left tackle La’el Collins didn’t have to show much at the school’s Pro Day on Friday.
Neither did defensive end Danielle Hunter or outside linebacker Kwon Alexander for that matter, even though they aren’t projected to go in the first round of the April 30-May 2 draft.
After shining at NFL combine workouts last month, those three didn’t have to break much of a sweat in front of about 100 general managers, coaches and scouts from all 32 teams in LSU’s indoor practice facility.
Collins participated only in individual workouts under the watchful eye of several NFL offensive line coaches, preferring to let his numbers at the combine stand.
There, he ran the 40-yard dash in 5.12 seconds and had 21 reps in the 225-pound bench press while performing well in most of the other tests.
“I was really focused on coming in here and having a good day individually,” Collins said. “I think I came out and did that. Today was a good day.”
The biggest question about Collins is not when he’ll be drafted; it’s where he’ll fit in. He played left guard as a sophomore at LSU, then manned the left tackle spot the past two seasons.
NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock, who was on hand for Friday’s activities, said he sees Collins as a right tackle.
“I think Collins is the easiest tackle to grade when you put on the tape,” Mayock said. “Some other tackles may be more gifted physically, but I think he can be an eight- to 10-year player at right tackle. He has more value there, and you can just plug him in and let him play.”
Some teams see the 6-foot-4, 320-pound Collins as a guard, which he wouldn’t be opposed to playing, but he said most conversations have been about him playing left tackle.
“All that is just talk. … Every team, every scout, every offensive line coach from teams who have worked me out said, ‘Definitely, I’m a left tackle,’ ” he said. “So that’s just talk. Whoever drafts me, they’ll put me where they want me and where they need me.”
Hunter had the busiest day of LSU’s four highest-rated prospects. He and cornerback Jalen Collins, who didn’t work Friday after having foot surgery last week, are rated as second-round picks at this point.
Hunter didn’t run the 40 after recording a 4.57 and didn’t lift after doing 25 reps at the combine, but he did take part in the shuttle runs, three-cone drills and broad and vertical jumps as well as individual drills.
“Overall, it was a good day,” Hunter said after working out at defensive end and outside linebacker. “I had the (40) time I needed, so the one thing I wanted to do was show my hips. That’s the biggest thing about football coaches; they want to see how you use your hips.”
Alexander, projected as a third-round pick, also let his 40 time of 4.55 seconds at the combine stand along with his 24 reps in the 225-pound bench press.
“I think I added a lot today,” he said. “I felt like I moved pretty well in all the (individual) drills. I thought I was more prepared today and I just needed to show them what I could do.”
According to statistics released by LSU, some of the biggest winners Friday were running backs Terrence Magee and Kenny Hilliard and safety Ronald Martin in the 40. Magee clocked a 4.53; Hilliard had a 4.60, down considerably from the 4.83 he ran at the combine; and Martin posted a 4.59. Wide receiver Quantavius Leslie had the fastest time at 4.45 seconds. … Hunter had a 36½-inch vertical leap, easily leading the way, and also had the best standing broad jump at 10 feet, 10½ inches. Martin had a 10-1. … Center Elliott Porter pumped out 34 reps in the 225-pound bench press, the most by an LSU player in several years.
Follow Sheldon Mickles on Twitter @MicklesAdvocate.