Tulsa linebacker Zaven Collins is one of the more intriguing prospects of the 2021 NFL draft because of his size and movement skills to play linebacker. He is an off-the-ball backer who can run and cover. At 6-4 and 259 pounds, where he measured and weighed in at his pro day, he is huge.
He has added weight. According to SI.com’s Albert Breer, when Collins went to Indianapolis for medical for draft medical exams, he weighed in at 270 pounds, 11 pounds heavier than his pro day.
Mostly projected as a linebacker to play in space, he is now more the size of an edge defender.
Adding the weight suggests that perhaps teams have asked him to do it and perhaps the league sees his future as an edge defender.
For the Arizona Cardinals, he could play outside linebacker. Now, Collins is on the record as saying he wants to play a position where he can run, cover and tackle, rather than always rushing the passer, but he potentially could play the role that Haason Reddick or Devon Kennard had.
In base packages, he would be the drop linebacker, which would suit him well.
If, for example, the Cardinals view him as an edge defender, he could be a real consideration for the 16th overall pick. However, it would be another case where the Cardinals draft someone and project him to be a player at a position he did not play in college.