This is the second year in a row that the Arizona Cardinals have selected a linebacker in the first round. Collins does an exceptional job staying with the play and playing to the whistle. Arizona made the safe pick by selecting Steven Collins with the 16th overall pick.
Collins was projected to go to the Cleveland Browns in most mock drafts. With Matthew Stafford, Russell Wilson, and Trey Lance in the NFC West. Arizona needed to get a linebacker that can drop back in coverage. They also needed a linebacker that could contain a quarterback.
How will Zaven Collins help the Arizona Cardinals in his rookie season?
The Arizona Cardinals will be receiving a linebacker that can play great in coverage. Zaven Collins isn't going to turn heads when it comes to his speed, but he will stick with his assignments in pass defense. He also possesses great ball skills.
After losing Haasan Reddick, it made sense for the Cardinals to go out and draft his replacement. Collins had a breakout season in 2020. He recorded 54 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, four sacks and four interceptions.
Zaven Collins is bringing an All-AAC selection, first-team All-American honors, and the Bronko Nagurski Award winner. Collins was the best defensive player in the nation last season at Tulsa.
Players like Aaron Donald, Luke Kuechly, Ndamukong Suh and Chase Young have all won the defensive player of the year award in college.
Predictions for Zaven Collins' Rookie Season
Zaven Collins will have the same type of rookie season as Isaiah Simmons had during the 2020-2021 season. Pairing Collins and Simmons is a beautiful thing for the Cardinals' future on defense. Both are great in coverage and both can crash the line of scrimmage and take down the ball carrier.
It'll be interesting to see how the Arizona Cardinals use Zaven Collins and if he starts. The Cardinals added J.J. Watt this off-season and are continuing to improve their defense by selecting Steven Collins. Regardless, the Cardinals made a great decision on drafting Zaven Collins.