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Cardinals select linebacker Zaven Collins with 16th pick in NFL Draft

Zaven Collins won the 2020 Bronko Nagurski and Chuck Bednarik awards as the nation’s best defensive player.

CLEVELAND — With the 16th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Arizona Cardinals selected linebacker Zaven Collins out of Tulsa.

It’s the second-straight year the Cardinals have taken a linebacker in the first round after they selected Isaiah Simmons out of Clemson in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Collins had a ridiculous 2020 season,  racking up 54 tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss, 4.0 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 2 passes defensed, and 4 interceptions in just eight games. Collins won the 2020 Bronko Nagurski and Chuck Bednarik awards as the nation’s best defensive player.

Cardinals GM Steve Keim said after the pick that Collins will line up next to Simmons.

J.J. Watt quickly, and warmly, welcomed the newest Cardinals player.