Tulsa linebacker Zaven Collins has been one of the most popular projections for the Cleveland Browns’ first selection in the 2021 NFL draft. Much of that speculative projection was based on Collins’ outstanding athleticism for his size as a versatile off-ball linebacker.
The results from the official testing at the recent medical combine could change that thinking, however. Collins officially measured in at just over 6-foot-4 but a surprising 270 pounds. He was listed at 259 pounds by Tulsa.
At that weight, playing as an off-ball linebacker is almost completely off the table, at least in a full-time role. Collins is now the dimensions of a full-time EDGE, bigger than many of the defensive end prospects in the class.
I’ve long projected Collins to be a better fit as a stand-up EDGE than the off-ball role he played for the Golden Hurricanes, but this heftier weight takes away from some of the positional versatility that helped make Collins so appealing for Cleveland. He should still be in strong consideration for the Browns at No. 26 overall, but Collins isn’t playing linebacker at that weight.
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