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LSU offensive tackle La'el Collins to visit Ravens, sources say

LSU All-American offensive tackle La'el Collins, one of the top blockers in the draft, is scheduled to visit the Ravens prior to the draft, according to league sources.

Collins also met with the Ravens at the NFL scouting combine and Senior Bowl.

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The 6-foot-5, 308-pound projected first-round draft pick ran the 40-yard dash in 5.12 seconds at the combine and bench pressed 225 pounds 21 times. He had a 27-inch vertical leap and a 9-foot broad jump.

Collins is known for his aggressiveness and technique. Most NFL teams are evaluating him as an offensive tackle prospect, but he could also project to guard because of his size and style of play.

"I think La'el is a great football player," said former NFL All-Pro center and LSU All-American Kevin Mawae in a telephone interview. "I've been around the program and I know him personally. He's a big guy and he moves well for his size. He's big and thick through the upper body and moves really well for a really big guy. Everybody thinks he'll be a high first-rounder with the kind of athlete he is. I've been asked by guys in the pros what I thought about him.

"He has great intuition and athletic ability. I think he would be a solid inside guy who could play both guard spots and he's athletic enough to play tackle. You watch the film and he's more of a road grader than a finesse player."

Collins started 38 career games and was an All-Southeastern Conference selection.

He won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the top offensive lineman in the SEC last year, an award voted on by the league's coaches. Collins played 2,533 career offensive snaps with 222 knockdowns.

"I really feel like every aspect of my game has made me who I am," Collins said during the combine. "I really feel like pass blocking, run blocking is strong. It's all equal.

"I take the same initiative in everything I do. If it's a pass play, I want to protect. If it's a run play, I want to drive my guy off the ball. I take that mentality every down."

Collins expressed confidence that he can have immediate success in the NFL after watching former LSU teammates, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham, Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill and Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry, excel as rookies last season.

"I don't think it's too much magic to it, just talking to guys, just be you," Collins said. "If you're a guy who's here, you worked to excel at what you do. Just show them in the drills what you have to offer."

awilson@baltsun.com

twitter.com/RavensInsider

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