2021 NFL Draft Zaven Collins Profile

by Bob Van Duser
2021 NFL Draft Zaven Collins

Welcome back for a look at my 2021 NFL Draft Zaven Collins Profile! Today I'll take a look at his college career statistically, as well as his game film. Then we'll dive into some projections for the NFL Draft as well as his IDP outlook as a rookie!

In case you haven't yet, be sure to dive into my other NFL Draft Profiles before the Draft is here!

If you enjoy this piece or any of my other profiles, make sure you check out the rest of my offseason content. Included are several Podcast appearances, NFL Mock Drafts, and Dynasty Rookie Mock Drafts! Thanks for your support!

2021 NFL Draft Zaven Collins Profile

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Collegiate Career


One of the many cool things about Zaven Collins is he was born and raised in Tulsa Oklahoma and managed to attend the college he grew up watching to play football there. I'm a big fan of nostalgia so seeing a hometown kid grow up and play on the team he grew up watching, is pretty neat for me.

He started all but two games as a red shirt freshman, and then went on to start every game as a junior and senior. The fact he has a long starting career bodes well for his future in the NFL. Especially when we look at his production over that span.


Collins college production is very impressive. The way he attacks multiple statistical categories is nothing short of remarkable. The way he's involved in every play and seemingly every turnover is something that NFL teams will certainly take note of.

There's nothing to sit and nit pick at here. There are zero holes in his statistical output. When it comes to statistical output he averaged 17 PPG in IDP123 Scoring, which was good for LB5 in the class. What does the film have to say about his statistical output?

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Tale of the Tape

Now here is where I'll probably lose all credibility and whatever. I'm not as big of a fan of Zaven Collins film as everybody else. Now before you get out your pitch forks he is my LB5 in the class in my Rookie IDP Rankings. Check those out to see where the rest of the IDP Rookies land.

Now when I look at Zaven Collins I look at two different sets of film. Him at Off-Ball Linebacker, and him in an Outside Linebacker/EDGE hybrid.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUfoCId7fJE[/embedyt]

Off Ball Linebacker

We'll start with the film I don't like, and that's him at Off-Ball Linebacker. This is where he seems the least natural. When he drops into coverage he starts tap dancing and just looks uncomfortable. And when he's in this position he seems slow to break to the ball. To his credit when it ends up a delayed hand off or a QB scramble he's very quick to make the break in front of him.

However, when he does come up to make the play he relies on arm tackling to get the job done and often misses the tackle. This is a repeated occurrence coming down hill, taking poor angles, and side to side failing to pursue ball carriers at proper angles and failing to make a body tackle.

Being from a smaller school it's possible he hasn't been coached up on these basics. But when he drops deep back into coverage he just seems jumpy, and uncomfortable. It could be he's having trouble processing the play, it could be he's uncomfortable in his position. Either way it's concerning to say the least and should be taken into consideration at the next level.


Now this was film I really did enjoy. He seems natural as a speed rusher around the EDGE and seems to fend off opposing tackles with ease. Why do I think he excels here? Simply put, it's less to process. It's see ball go get ball when he's rushing, in run defense he's attacking the ball carrier before they get a full head of steam, and he's not trying to read the entire play.

I even notice this if he drops into an outside flat zone, he doesn't get jumpy and start tap dancing. He's monitoring one or two players and handling his zone.

The one knock here again is his tackling. Several missed tackles that could've led to an even bigger stat line for him. But the way he strides to the QB and just attacks is down right scary.

You see my player comparison is Kyle Van Noy. My original comparison was a shark. Slow side to side, but deadly in pursuit. Especially after the QB.

My biggest issues are the tackling, his uncomfortable look playing off ball in center field coverage, and poor tackle angles. That and how he seems to almost luck into his best plays. Several Interceptions that were deflected and popped in the air, several QB fall down sacks. All while playing in a low level of competition conference.

He just doesn't look "Elite" to me while playing sub-par competition.


NFL Draft Projections

I do think there's a chance he goes in the first round of the NFL Draft. Personally in this LB class I think there's a greater chance he slips into early Day Two.

LBs aren't highly sought after positions in the NFL Draft unless you are considered Elite.

IDP Projections

With wherever he's drafted he's likely a Day One Starter. Which means he's highly likely to produce for Fantasy right off the bat.

However, I do believe there's a possibility he gets the Isaiah Simmons/Willie Gay treatment depending on the landing spot. Seeing as he hasn't faced top tier talent it's possible teams will want to ease him into the pro level.


Like I said earlier, put down the pitchforks. I'm happy to acknowledge that I'm going to be lower on Zaven Collins than the consensus. Am I going to ignore his stellar production? Absolutely not. Am I going to ignore the things I see as red flags? Absolutely not. Hopefully I did well enough to convey those concerns. If I didn't hit me up @BobVan_IDP on Twitter and slide in my DMs that are ALWAYS open. Until next time, much love, I'm out. -BV


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2021 Fantasy Football IDP Rookie LB Analysis - Fantasy Six Pack May 10, 2021 - 11:00 pm

[…] See his Draft Profile here. […]


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