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Patriots Interested in LSU OT La'el Collins

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The Patriots are showing interest in one of the top prospects in the draft.

Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports

Big news on the recruitment front: the New England Patriots are showing interest in Louisiana State's offensive tackle La'el Collins. Collins was viewed as a potetential top 10 pick prior to the draft, but fell when Baton Rouge police called him in for questioning with regards to the murder of his ex-girlfriend, who was also pregnant.

It cannot be stressed enough that he is not viewed as a suspect, but his connection has to make the Patriots wary in the aftermath of Aaron Hernandez. Should Collins be cleared of all suspiscion, he will likely join the ranks of the league and continue on a successful career; if innocent, there's no reason why his entire life should become derailed.

But that's a major IF. Former Patriots beat writer Nick Underhill, now down in Louisiana covering the Saints, reports that the Patriots have reached out to Collins to show interest. It's clear they are doing their due diligence, and time will reveal if it's anything more. According to Underhill, the Patriots, Jets, and Dolphins are three of the leading teams speaking with Collins.

In other news, the Patriots have announced the release of cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, linebacker Deontae Skinner, and long snapper Tyler Ott. Skinner stepped up as depth when Jerod Mayo went down with an injury, but was inconsistent on the field. Ott's release leaves zero long snappers on the roster, which could mean good things for fifth round pick Joe Cardona.