2021 NFL Draft Prospect: Zaven Collins

Scouting report

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Collins is a 6’4″ 260 pound linebacker out of Tulsa. He is one of he most athletic linebackers in this years’ 2021 draft. Collins has one of the highest coverage grades for a linebacker since Eric Kendricks (9.37 coverage grade per Pro Football Focus). He has tremendous sideline to sideline lateral speed, and he’s stout against the run, by running through gaps with power, shedding blockers and wrapping up ball carriers with sound tackling. Collins has a high football IQ by diagnosing developing plays and disrupting plays in the backfield. Tulsa lined him up all over the defense at strong side linebacker to rush the quarterback with his speed. As a rusher, he has bend, explosiveness and power to beat tackles.

Athletic Ability Grade: 8.7

Collins has above average speed to cover short and intermediate routes. He has fluid hips to break on the ball for a tackle, deflection and interception. Collins possesses strength to bull rush blockers and shed blocks to disrupt plays and tackle ball carriers.

Pass Coverage Ability Grade: 8.7

Collins has the ability to cover tight ends, running backs, and slot receivers in man coverage. Has the ability to bait the quarterbacks into interceptions by reading and diagnosing plays. He covers his zone by jumping intermediate routes or swatting the ball away in pass break-ups.

Pass Rush/Hand Use Grade: 8.0 Collins has initial quickness and rush moves. He attacks his gap with a swim move, arm over, bull rush or rip move to speed pass offensive tackles.

Against The Run Grade: 8.6

The linebacker prospect shoots his gap with speed and disrupts the run game. He has shows great sideline to sideline lateral speed by using his fluid hips, stopping toss plays, jet sweeps and counter plays. Collins has power to bull rush and shed blocks to get into backfield when needed.

Instincts/Awareness Grade: 8.7 Collins shows great pass coverage abilities by covering his zone and locking down the intermediate pass in his zone. Collins will intercept or deflect any ball tipped or over thrown in his zone. He has awareness to see routes open up in his zone.

Weakness: Advanced Pass Rush Moves

Collins can get better with NFL coaching, with more improved pass rush moves and knowing what moves to go to in certain situations.

 

Overall:

Collins is a freak athlete at middle linebacker and has the skill set to be schemed in various matchups to take away receiving threats. He is raw in some areas, like his pass rush, but makes up for it with his strength and athleticism. He is stout against the run and disrupts developing offensive plays by shooting gaps fast with power. His awareness will translate to the NFL with coaching and film study.

Player Comparison: Eric Kendricks

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