2021 NFL Draft: Zaven Collins continues to boost draft stock

Zaven Collins continues to boost his 2021 NFL Draft stock.

The 2021 NFL Draft is rapidly filling up with fascinating EDGE and hybrid linebacker prospects. One of the hottest prospects in the country midway through the college football season is Tulsa’s Zaven Collins.

Collins was a player who had already been drawing attention from NFL clubs. We wrote about him a couple of months ago after his debut vs. Oklahoma State.

The 6-foot-4, 260-pound Collins is a versatile linebacker with the physical attributes of a defensive end but the range of a much smaller linebacker.

After racking up over 180 total tackles in his first two seasons with Tulsa, including 17.5 tackles for loss and six passes defended, he’s having a fabulous 2020 season en route to a likely top-40 NFL Draft grade in 2021.

In five games, Collins has 34 tackles, six tackles for loss, four sacks, three interceptions (one for a touchdown), and a pair of forced fumbles. He also has a safety this year.

In Tulsa’s upset win over SMU, Collins was absolutely dominant and capped off the game with an interception.

This guy has been an absolute beast for Tulsa and is rightly drawing a lot of NFL attention right now. Although he’s only a junior, he has shown an innate ability to always be around the ball, and he can contribute at a high level in so many different facets.

He’s an exceptional pass rusher in addition to playing the off-ball linebacker position. Collins’ versatility will have him in the first-round discussion of the 2021 NFL Draft, no question. He already flashed production in his first two seasons at Tulsa, but his outstanding play in 2020 has the draft community absolutely buzzing.

He may not be a top-15 caliber prospect (or maybe he is) but teams that make the playoffs aren’t going to want to risk waiting until the second round to get a player who can do so much for your defense like Collins can.

Ultimately, Collins is one of the biggest risers in college football right now and he just put some signature plays down on tape to entice scouting departments league-wide.