La'el Collins is our top-ranked offensive rookie for Week 1
La’el Collins’ decision to sign with the Cowboys was a head-scratcher in some ways, most notably because he was a left tackle at LSU and Dallas’ starting left tackle, Tyron Smith, is signed through 2023. 10 different NFL tackles are making as much money per year as the league’s highest-paid guard, so it was a curious choice for Collins to be picking a team on which he’d be slated as a guard to start his career.
However, Collins showed he is taking very well to guard in his first preseason game for the Cowboys. His +3.2 overall grade versus the Chargers was the highest of any offensive rookie the first week of the preseason.
This block on Chi Chi Ariguzo was as dominant as you’ll see all season (note the fist pump at the end):
Our second-highest-graded tackle in the 2015 draft class, Collins hung his hat even more on his pass protection at LSU, where he allowed an insanely low four pressures his final season. He wasn’t perfect in the passing game against San Diego, but some hiccups are to be expected.
If the rookie can match the production of his linemate Zack Martin from a year ago, the Cowboys could field one of the most productive offensive lines in the PFF era.