Chargers general manager Tom Telesco said Wednesday that for now, D.J. Fluker will remain at right tackle. The expectation going into this offseason is second-year pro Chris Watt will get the first shot at replacing recently retired center Nick Hardwick.
Left tackle King Dunlap is scheduled to hit free agency in March, and bringing him back should be the team’s top priority in free agency this offseason.
According to Marty Caswell of The Mighty 1090, Collins said the Chargers have scheduled a meeting with him at the combine.
One of the reasons Collins could be a fit in San Diego is because of his versatility. He played left tackle and left guard for LSU, so he has the skills to play all along the offensive line, an important distinction because the Chargers are remaking the offense line, and will move players around in an effort to find the best starting five this offseason. Chargers offensive line coach Joe D'Alessandris loves versatility for his players up front, cross-training everyone in his group to play guard, tackle and sometimes center.
"When you’re inside, you’re going up against pretty big guys -- bigger guys, more stronger," Collins told reporters at the scouting combine. "But when you’re out there on the island, you’re going against fast guys with speed, and you have to be able to understand where you’re at on the field and the personnel you’re going against. Since I played both positions, I understand them very well."
Collins measured 6-foot-4 and 305 pounds at the combine. He had a 33 ¼-inch arms, which is on the short side for a left tackle.
However, one thing that stands out for Collins is his aggressive nature. According to draft analysts, Collins plays with a mean streak, a desirable trait for a San Diego offense looking to ignite a sputtering running game. The Chargers averaged 3.2 yards per attempt on first-down runs -- when defenses know offenses want to run the football -- second-worst in the NFL.
"When I started playing football, I started playing defense and made the transition to playing offense in high school," Collins said. "I’ve always had a mentality of a defensive lineman, and I was able to bring that over to the offense, but also bring intelligence over to play offensive line.
"For me to go out there with that mentality and just get after it is something I bring to the table."