NFL Draft

Tulsa LB Zaven Collins Says He’s Talked To Tomlin, Steelers’ Staff: ‘I Love Coach Tomlin’

In a Zoom call Thursday, Tulsa linebacker and potential first round pick Zaven Collins says he’s spoken with the entire Pittsburgh Steelers’ staff.

“I’ve spoken with the Steelers,” Collins told me. “I’ve spoken with the whole staff.”

Collins is one of the freakiest athletes of his class and had an impressive career with the Golden Hurricanes. Despite playing in just eight games in 2020, he recorded 54 tackles (7.5 for a loss), 4 sacks and a whopping four INTs. In three years, he racked up 236 tackles (25 TFL) 7.5 sacks, five interceptions, and three forced fumbles. He declared after his redshirt junior season.

Collins has a similar style as Lawrence Timmons, though Collins is much bigger. He has potential to play off ball and as an edge rusher at the NFL level. He said he’ll line up wherever teams ask him to but prefers to play in a scheme that will allow him to run and hit than strictly as a pass rusher.

In his pre Pro Day press conference, he said his interactions with the Steelers included head coach Mike Tomlin.

“I love Coach Tomlin. Great dude. Great energy. Great personality. It was awesome meeting all of them. I really feel blessed. That’s when it comes most surreal. Whenever you’re sitting with guys you watched on TV, coaching all these high-level athletes, and they’re giving you the time of day to talk to you for about an hour-and-a-half over Zoom meeting with how your life was and what you know about football. So that’s something I’m really grateful for.”

Check out our scouting report from our Josh Carney below. Here’s how he wrapped up his evaluation.

2021 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Tulsa LB Zaven Collins

“He looks like a four-down player who can line up anywhere on defense and could be a special teams terror for someone early in his career. I do think he might fall to the second day of the draft due to his level of competition, but I get serious Anthony Barr vibes overall.”

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