Zaven Collins: Feels good to start fresh after “ups and downs” of rookie year

NFL: DEC 25 Colts at Cardinals
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After the Cardinals took Zaven Collins in the first round of the 2021 draft, there was a lot of talk about pairing him with 2020 first-rounder Isaiah Simmons as starting linebackers.

That’s not how things played out, however. Jordan Hicks supplanted Collins at the top of the depth chart and Collins wound up playing just 20 percent of the team’s defensive snaps as Arizona opted for experience over potential on defense.

Collins is being talked up as a starter again this offseason and Hicks is now in Minnesota, so the team is likely to give him a longer look than they were willing to give him last season. Collins feels like he’s more capable of filling the need this time around.

“You get to learn a lot of stuff,” Collins said, via the team’s website. “There were a lot of ups and downs trying to understand how everything works and staying level-headed. It was hard but it was something you push through. . . . It feels good to get past that and start fresh.”

Collins called it a “blessing” to learn from Hicks last year and the Cardinals will likely feel the same if his second season fulfills the promise that made him such an early pick.

1 responses to “Zaven Collins: Feels good to start fresh after “ups and downs” of rookie year

  1. It’s not Collins or Simmons fault that Steve Keim reached for the same “no true position” tweener-LB player in round one two years in a row.

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