NFL Draft Prospect Spotlight: Zaven Collins

Zaven Collins the outside linebacker was voted as the best defensive player in college football in 2020, and the Las Vegas Raiders are considering in the NFL Draft.
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We’ve gone through many of the top defensive end prospects in our 2021 NFL Draft spotlight series recently.

The pass rush is of course a major need for the Las Vegas Raiders, but so is finding more playmakers in the second level of their defense.

We previously looked at one linebacker who has been mocked to them more than once, Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.

Now, we’ll talk about arguably the most awarded defensive player of 2020, Tulsa linebacker Zaven Collins.

Collins won both the Bronko Nagurski and Chuck Bednarik awards recognizing the best defensive player in college football.

As the 2020 AAC defensive player of the year, Collins totaled 54 tackles and 11.5 tackles for loss along with four sacks from his off-ball linebacker spot. 

He also racked up a ton of turnovers, showing his ability in overage by recording four interceptions and forcing two fumbles.

Collins took two of those interceptions back for touchdowns, with both of those plays being game clinchers against SMU and Tulane.

As a linebacker, he’s capable of doing it all for a defense.

Teams might quibble about his size at 6-4 and 260 pounds. For an off-ball linebacker at that weight, there could be questions about his top line speed.

However, Collins is coming off being the highest-rated linebacker in college football by Pro Football Focus (PFF).

He’s going to be in the mix in the first round, and for a team like the Raiders who desperately needs playmakers on defense, Collins might be the answer they’re seeking. 

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