Draft Profile: Tulsa LB Zaven Collins
Measurables: 6’4″ 255 LBs
Zaven Collins is one of the best 2021 prospects you never heard of. He is the recipient of the 2020 Bronko Nagurski Trophy honoring the nation’s best defensive player. At 6’4″ he has the length and range alone to scare opposing QBs, but he has the talent to back it up. In high school, Collins was a 4 year starter at QB and LB/S. Knowing both sides of the ball definitely shows up on film with how fast he diagnoses plays and attacks the ball carrier and isn’t fooled by motion and fakes. He’d be the heart and soul of the defense lucky enough to add him.
Career Stats via, ESPN
2020 vs UCF: 10 Tackles, 1 INT, 2 Pass Deflections
2020 vs SMU: 6 Tackles, 1 INT, 1 Sack
2019 vs Cincy: 9 Tackles, 1 Sack
- Elite athlete;
- sideline to sideline defender;
- good hands on the defensive side to intercept or knock the ball down;
- processes the player at an efficient and effective level;
- tough and an absolute finisher;
- phenom in zone coverage and does well in man;
- lateral mobility is elite for his size;
- field general and the guy you want breaking the huddle.
- People will say level of competition but he stepped up against ranked opponents regularly;
- limited reps in man but certainly athletic enough to do so;
- better hand fighting at time but he can outmuscle almost anyone.
NFL Comparison: Darius Leonard (play diagnosis), Bobby Wagner (IQ and lateral quickness), Deion Jones (zone coverage ability),
Projection: Late first to early second round selection.
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Photo: (AP: Cliff Brunt)