LSU Players Finally Hear their Name Called in NFL Draft


It took until the second day of the draft for an LSU Tiger to come off the board for the first time since 2010 but at least two Tigers stars found new homes in the NFL.

In the leadup to the draft there was speculation that two Tigers would go high in the first round. After both La’el Collins and Jalen Collins turned in stellar performances at the draft combine their position at the top of the first seemed assured.

Collins was knocked back by a combination of less than stellar game film and a report that he failed multiple drug tests at LSU.

As LSU fans are aware he was a good but not great cover corner, at least by LSU standards. That and the added risk of a history of experimenting with drugs was enough to eliminate him from most teams draft boards, at least in the first round.

La’el Collins story is much more confusing and tragic. A woman now believed to be his ex girlfriend was murdered in Baton Rouge Friday night, the day before La’el Collins was scheduled to fly to Chicago for the draft.

There was no indication that La’el Collins was involved and the police have stated that he is not a suspect.

The specter’s of Rae Carruth and OJ Simpson loom heavily over the league, and teams were nervous enough to pass on La’el through three rounds. Still, as the draft progressed we started to see some Tigers drafted, a trend that will continue through the day 3 selections.

Jalen Collins, Selected 42 overall (2nd Round), The Atlanta Falcons

Jalen Collins of LSU interviewed at the NFL Draft Combine

OK, let’s go ahead and get it out of the way first.

A lot of LSU fans are Saints fans and might wish Jalen Collins wasn’t headed to the Saints biggest rival. Other than that this is a great place for him to land.

Atlanta has a major need at corner for one thing, which means he will get every opportunity to earn a starting job from day 1. His new head coach is the other major advantage here.

Dan Quinn of the Falcons was the Defensive Coordinator of the Legion of Boom Seattle Seahawks team.

He has a history of developing big athletic young defensive backs into major NFL stars. Jalen is a big, fast cornerback with the frame and athleticism Dan Quinn loves.

He could not possibly have fallen into a better situation than this.

Danielle Hunter, Selected 88 overall (Round 3), The Minnesota Vikings

Oct 18, 2014; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers defensive end Danielle Hunter (94) and safety Jalen Mills (left) tackle Kentucky Wildcats running back Mikel Horton (4) in the third quarter at Tiger Stadium. LSU defeated Kentucky 41-3. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

If you think Jalen Mills fell into a perfect situation you have to like the look of Danielle Hunter’s situation and think he may have done even better.

Like Jalen Collins, Hunter was drafted by a team with a former defensive coordinator as head coach. While Dan Quinn’s specialty at Seattle was developing star defensive backs;

Mike Zimmer’s days at Cincinnatti gained him a reputation as one of the NFL’s top defensive line gurus.

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  • Mike Zimmer was the defenive coordinator that turned unheralded 4th round pick Geno Atkins into an All Pro, and Michael Johnson into one of the most feared DE’s in the NFL.

    Danielle Hunter is joining a front 7 in Minnesota that already features star pass rusher Everson Griffin (12 sacks in 2014) and last years sensational rookie pick Anthony Barr.

    Hunter won’t be expected to star, and with Griffin and Barr on the field he will rarely see a double team.

    While he fell in the draft because of his lack of sacks he led the Tigers in tackles for a loss and has a very high motor.

    Under the tutelage of Mike Zimmer and the Vikings staff you can expect him to turn into a productive regular starter…..

    Next: Saints Finally Draft Drew Brees' Replacement: Garrett Grayson