Ever since I was a little kid, as far back as I can remember in fact my favorite position on the field was a linebacker. For me 2021 draft prospect LB Zaven Collins, Tulsa checks all the boxes for me. The Philadelphia Eagles have had a need at linebacker since Jordan Hicks, and really since Jerimiah Trotter. The Eagles sitting at pick 37 of the second round are right in the mix for him. Collins in my opinion may be just what the doctor ordered for the dilapidated linebacking core of the Philadelphia Eagles. The kid is a freak standing at 6′ 5″ tall and weighing in just shy of 260. His NFL comp is Leighton Vander Esch from what several experts have said.
Zaven didn’t travel far for school growing up. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1999 Collins attended Hominy High School in Oklahoma eventually going on to attend The University of Tulsa. After redshirting his first year at Tulsa in 2017, Collins played in 12 games and started 10 in 2018. He had 85 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and one interception. As a sophomore in 2019, he started all 12 games, recording 97 tackles and two sacks. 2021 draft prospect LB Zaven Collins, Tulsa returned in 2020, where he was awarded the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Chuck Bednarik Award as the nation’s best defensive player, as well as the Lombardi Award.
Positives and Negatives
There are some things going against Collins.
- Needs deeper fill to leverage and constrict the run lane.
- Can improve pathways getting from Point A to Point B.
- Rushed pursuit and overran cutbacks versus Oklahoma State’s outside zone.
- Needs time to gather and change direction due to size.
I feel everything he lacks can be worked on and improved upon at the next level to inevitably add to the list of Pros for the young man.
- Consistent, impact production in all three seasons.
- Freaky combination of size and athleticism for a linebacker.
- Range to make plays all over the field.
- Sees opportunities to swoop downhill and attack holes in blocking scheme.
- Size and knock-back power to take on blocks.