PFF: Cardinals rookies Zaven Collins, Rondale Moore make the grade at halfway point

Nov 3, 2021, 8:00 PM

Cardinals LB Zaven Collins. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)...

Cardinals LB Zaven Collins. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

General manager Steve Keim looks like he’s hit with his first two picks in the 2021 NFL Draft.

First-rounder Zaven Collins and second-round choice Rondale Moore haven’t been leaned upon as every-down starters, but Pro Football Focus at the halfway point of the year has graded them well in their still-significant roles.

Collins has an 80.7 overall grade and is second among 21 rookies listed at linebacker who are playing. In a re-hash of the draft order, PFF’s Sam Monson notes that Collins has played quite well as an inside backer before he was injured early on last Thursday against the Green Bay Packers.

Collins has been impressive in the run game but has found snaps hard to come by at times depending on the opposition the team faces, often seeing his playing time reduced simply because the Cardinals play a pass-happy offense.

Collins has 17 tackles and two passes defensed while playing 31% of the available defensive snaps through Arizona’s 7-1 start to the year.

Of players who have a better sample size, Moore has played 45% of his team’s available snaps.

He’s posted a 76.7 overall grade despite struggling last week on special teams duties as well as tipping a Kyler Murray pass that was picked off by the Packers, according to PFF’s Michael Renner.

Moore has already broken 10 tackles on only 29 receptions so far. He’s still more of a gadget player in the Cardinals offense, with 19 of those catches coming on screens. Still, he’s been excellent in that regard.

Moore has 327 receiving yards on 29 catches.

His speed has teams concerned, even though the Cardinals have utilized him not only as a deep threat but to stretch defenses and identify schemes with pre-snap motions.

On three catches last week, he averaged 11.3 yards after the catch. His five targets averaged out to minus-1.7 air yards per target, according to NextGenStats, a sign that even on short routes he’s creating chaos for opposing defenses.

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PFF: Cardinals rookies Zaven Collins, Rondale Moore make the grade at halfway point