By: Hussam Patel
Zaven Collins is ultimately the #2 LB in the draft behind Micah Parsons; Collins is PFF's #1 graded defensive player. He ended his college career by claiming the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which is awarded to the nation’s best defensive player.
He exploded onto the scene this season flying around like Jamal Adams in the box, intercepting passes like Don Shinnick, and swarming ball carriers like Luke Kuechly. There isn't anything Collins doesn’t do well; he is an all-around LB that is good in all areas. He's ultimately like Kyle Van Noy, who can cover and help in run support.
Collins is such a fluid athlete on the field; he's got happy feet, which allow him to change directions at the drop of a dime. He has no issue getting parallel down the line of scrimmage. This fluidity and change of direction translates to his ability in coverage as well.
The primary issue with Collins is his inability to hold against bigger lineman at the point of attack when trying to set the edge or when guards pull out in the run game. Ultimately, he will need to run with bigger TE's and faster RBs in man coverage where he will be easily beat as he worked in zone coverage at Tulsa.