Cardinals see Zaven Collins playing next to Isaiah Simmons at inside linebacker

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In 2020, the Cardinals used their first-round pick on a defensive player listed as a linebacker but talked about as a versatile piece who could play at multiple levels of the defense.

It took some time for the Cardinals to figure out how best to utilize Isaiah Simmons during his rookie season before settling on an inside linebacker spot. They’re more sure about where this year’s first-round pick will go.

Zaven Collins said he considers himself a chess piece who can move around the defense, but General Manager Steve Keim said that the team sees him as a “stack linebacker” who can play three downs and fits right in next to Simmons in the center of the defense.

“Playing side-by-side with Isaiah Simmons when you see those two guys in there with their length, it’s really like having two trees in the middle of the field,” Keim said, via the team’s website.

If all goes well for the Cardinals, those trees will be fixtures in the middle of the field for many years to come.

7 responses to “Cardinals see Zaven Collins playing next to Isaiah Simmons at inside linebacker

  1. I doubt any other team has spent consecutive first-round picks on linebackers in the 21st century.

  2. The Cardinals will be a very good team next season. As a Rams fan, it makes me nervous but also excited. Those will be great games.

  3. Media here in AZ seems to be spending less energy celebrating Collins selection than celebrating the fact that Aaron Rodgers didn’t go to the Niners.
    That doesn’t exactly inspire confidence…

  4. Let’s remember Simmons can play Safety with Budda while Collins lines up next to Hicks… Vance can get really creative this season!

  5. The Steelers drafted linebackers three years in a row.

    Jarvis Jones-2013
    Ryan Shazier-2014
    Alvin Dupree-2015

  6. Love Collins’ game. Was hoping he would have fallen to the WFT at 19. Should be interesting to watch those two destroyers in the middle of the D.

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