Arizona Cardinals: Zaven Collins left minicamp impressing everyone

Dec 12, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals linebacker Zaven Collins (25) reacts against
Dec 12, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals linebacker Zaven Collins (25) reacts against / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Cardinals linebacker Zaven Collins is in the middle of a position switch. And so far, he has impressed just about everyone in the organization.

Despite his remarkable second season in the NFL, linebacker Zaven Collins’ offseason saw him changing positions from the inside to outside linebacker/edge. And despite the switch, Collins has given us some impressive returns following the Arizona Cardinals offseason workouts. 

At 6’4, 260 lb, Collins has the size needed to be an outside linebacker/edge rusher, and even a defensive end if the Cards wind up taking a 4-3 alignment. This served as a likely reason the Cards wanted him to bump outside and play edge instead of inside linebacker, where Kyzir White, Krys Barnes, and Owen Pappoe have the position covered. 

Collins’ football intelligence appears to be another potential reason for seeing him kick outside to outside linebacker/edge. Teammate Dennis Gardeck had the following to say about the third-year player”

"“First and foremost, (Collins adds intelligence to the room). He’s got to be one of the smartest outside linebackers there’s ever been. Coming from the inside, he knows how everything’s tied together so well. He’s incredibly smart.”"

Dennis Gardeck

Arizona Cardinals linebacker Zaven Collins has been beyond impressive

Once the Cardinals lost Zach Allen and J.J. Watt, they were left with only Gardeck, Cameron Thomas, and Myjai Sanders as their edge rushers. In April’s draft, the Cards added B.J. Ojulari to the mix, but they also wanted a strong rotation at the position, which further explains Collins’ switch. 

It remains to be seen whether Collins will continue the roll he’s been on into training camp. But if he does, you can expect the Arizona Cardinals to boast an incredible amount of fresh legs when the games start to count in September. 

Despite a projected weaker roster this season, the Cards look like they’re more than stacked in the edge department. And that could work wonders if they wind up getting pressure on some of the better quarterbacks they will face in 2023. 

Source: Accountability tops biggest takeaways from Arizona Cardinals minicamp by Tyler Drake