The Las Vegas Raiders still need to boost their linebacker corps and upgrade their pass rush. What if they could address both with one player? That player is Tulsa’s Zaven Collins.
The Silver and Black would benefit tremendously from a linebacker that can not only thrive in coverage but also bring the heat at the line of scrimmage. The Raiders’ brass whiffed on Cory Littleton, though he might get another chance depending on who the defensive coordinator is next year. Then again, this is true for many players that were not put in positions to succeed under the now-fired Paul Guenther.
Depending on what scheme the team runs next year, Collins would help the Raiders in more than one department. Let’s take a closer look at Collins and his abilities, and more importantly, why he’d help the Raiders.
Statistically speaking, Collins had a very productive career at Tulsa, playing in the American Athletic Conference. He amassed 129 solo tackles, three forced fumbles, eight passes defensed, and 25 tackles for a loss. A ballhawk in his own right, Collins also nabbed five interceptions, four of them this season alone.
He could be more than just a linebacker for the Raiders…
According to Pro Football Focus, Collins played 387 snaps in the box and 51 along the defensive line where he notched four sacks this year. Overall, PFF gives Collins a 91.1 overall grade, his coverage grade sits at an impressive 93.7 and at 90.6 for his pass-rush abilities. Drae Harris of the Draft Network believes Collins has upside when it comes to the pass-rushing department. Harris follows up with Collins’ coverage skills, ‘His good instincts allow him to get in the passing lanes and easily comes up to make tackles in space.‘
His film is impressive, as you can see him play in 3-4 sets delivering devastating hits. His speed and athleticism stand out, stopping a run in the backfield or picking up a clutch interception. This is a prospect the Raiders should at the very least consider taking a look at.
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