ARIZONA CARDINALS Collins could be 1st time Pro Bowler for Cardinals in 2023

Sep 3, 2023, 3:58 PM

Linebacker Zaven Collins #25 of the Arizona Cardinals participates in a team practice ahead of the ...

Linebacker Zaven Collins #25 of the Arizona Cardinals participates in a team practice ahead of the NFL season at State Farm Stadium on August 01, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

If the Arizona Cardinals are going to find success during the 2023 season, they are going to need breakout performances.

Sure, it’s only natural for Jonathan Gannon and his staff to expect high-level play from the likes of Budda Baker.

But who else will step up?

Kevin Patra of is pointing to third-year outside linebacker Zaven Collins as his best bet to rise to the level of a first-time Pro Bowler in 2023.

Similar to Haason Reddick in 2020, Collins could thrive in a position change, Patra writes:

With the Cardinals in full-on rebuild mode, let’s give Collins the Reddick Position Switch Breakout nomination. The 2021 first-round pick spent most of his first two seasons miscast as an off-ball linebacker — he played just 16 percent of his snaps on the edge. While he owns the traits to play several positions, moving him to a rushing linebacker role was the correct move by the new staff. Allowing the 6-foot-4 Tulsa product to get after the quarterback could pay the same dividends it once afforded Reddick.

Collins made just 25 combined tackles in 17 games (six starts) in 2021. However, last season, he started 16 of 17 games, making 100 combined tackles, two sacks, 11 tackles for loss, four quarterback hits and an interception that he returned for a touchdown.

Collins made one tackle in the preseason, but it was a noteworthy one. In the 18-17 win over the Denver Broncos, the third-year man came off the weakside edge to track down running back Samaje Perine for a minimal gain. Not only did it show his ability to play on the line, but it showed his athleticism to catch up to the play once it had passed him.

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