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NFL denies La'el Collins' request to pull out of draft

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La'El Collins had been a projected first-round pick before the murder of pregnant ex-girlfriend Brittney Mills.Julio Cortez/AP

La’El Collins had been a projected first-round pick before the murder of pregnant ex-girlfriend Brittney Mills.

The NFL denied the request of LSU offensive lineman La’el Collins, who had been projected as a certain first round pick, to be removed from Thursday night’s draft and be placed in a supplemental draft until his name has been cleared in a murder investigation.

Collins pregnant former girlfriend was shot to death last Friday in Baton Rouge, and although police have said Collins is not a suspect, teams are expected to stay away from him in the early rounds. It’s possible he would even be drafted until his name is officially cleared. He left the draft in Chicago on Wednesday to return to Baton Rouge but will not meet with police until next week.

His agent made the request to remove Collins from the draft late Thursday.

“Request denied,” said NFL spokesman Greg Aiello.

The league considers the integrity of the draft its top priority and there is no precedent or procedure for removing a player under the rules once a player is eligible for the draft. The rules are agreed upon with the union.

The supplemental draft has been used by underclassmen who graduate after the regular draft or in the case of players who were deemed ineligible in college but had been out of high school the required three years to be included in the draft.

If the NFL were to add Collins to a supplemental draft, it would amend the collective bargaining agreement.

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