Jan 1, 2014; Tampa, Fl, USA; LSU Tigers offensive tackle La'el Collins (70) blocks as Iowa Hawkeyes defensive lineman Mike Hardy (98) rushes during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft: La'el Collins expected to return to LSU in 2014

The LSU Tigers have become accustomed to losing players early to the NFL draft and this year is no different as they are losing their top two wide receivers in Odell Beckham Jr.and Jarvis Landry and starting running back Jeremy Hill who declared on Monday.

However, LSU fans and coaches alike can breathe a sigh of relief with the anticipated return of left tackle La’el Collins. Beckham said he spoke with the 6-5, 320-pound lineman and he told the record-breaking all-purpose threat he is returning with the hopes of being a first round pick in 2015.

Collins likely would have been a second or third round pick in 2014 as a result of a deep group of offensive tackle recruits. In his first season at left tackle after starting at left guard last season, Collins showed the potential that made him a top-10 recruit out of high school.

He has the ability to be a first round pick in 2015 and will be counted on as a leader on a young offense next year.

With reserve running back Alfred Blue tweeting he will not take advantage of an extra year of eligibility, the LSU offense will be losing five players early to the NFL. Coupled with senior quarterback Zach Mettenberger joining the early departures, LSU is losing 81 percent of its total yards and loses 67 percent of their touchdown output.

Defensive tackles Anthony Johnson and Ego Ferguson already declared for the draft joining Hill, Landry, Beckham and offensive guard Trai Turner.

Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Football La'El Collins LSU Tigers

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