What Are They Saying? Reaction To Zaven Collins Selection

AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio

With the 16th overall pick, the Arizona Cardinals selected linebacker Zaven Collins in the first round of Thursday’s NFL Draft.

Collins is a 6-foot-5, 260 pounder out of Tulsa, and he will look to make an impact in the Cardinals front seven playing alongside Isaiah Simmons in their 3-4 scheme. 

Although some Cardinal fans were looking for a corner or wide receiver, Collins is highly-rated among Pro Football Focus and was their highest-rated linebacker this past season. 

He was on Steve Keim’s radar for a long time throughout the draft process, and he was one of many players that the organization was looking at linebacker and in the front seven. 

“I’ve been impressed with a number of the receivers and the outside linebackers class, guys who are generally college defensive ends who project as outside linebackers,” Keim said last week during a media availability. “That group has been impressive to me. They are guys (the linebackers) that are going to be able to come in and start at an early point in their career.”

This isn’t a pick that will come without some backlash from the fan base, but the jury will be out as the Cardinals look to strengthen their defense. Here’s what some other players, analysts, and personalities were saying about the second player from Tulsa to ever be drafted in the first round: 

Pro Football Focus

Pat McAfee

JJ Watt

Chase Edmonds

Kyler Murray

Tulsa Head Coach Philip Montgomery

ESPN Draft Analyst Matt Miller