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2021 NFL mock draft: Washington Football Team select Zaven Collins

Washington gets a linebacker currently shooting up the boards.

Tulsa v South Florida Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

The Washington Football Team came out on top of a messy NFC East last year, but they predictably bowed out in the first round of the playoffs—though they admittedly took the eventual champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the brink.

With Dak Prescott and Saquon Barkley expected to be back from injury this season, it shouldn’t be quite as easy for Washington to repeat as division champions. There’s some work to do, and I’m not entirely sure Ryan Fitzpatrick is enough to maintain that title.

So for our Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft, it’ll be up to commenter nrs001 to keep the Washington Football Team atop the NFL’s most annoying division.

Before we get into the pick, check out our Community Mock Draft tracker for the picks that have gone before them.

With the 19th pick in the Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft, the Washington Football Team has selected Tulsa linebacker Zaven Collins.

Here’s nrs001 explaining the pick:

The Washington Football Team is very weak with their linebacking core. Right now the projected starters in Washington are Jon Bostic as the Mike, Cole Holcomb as the Sam, and Khaleke Hudson as the Will. This would easily be the weak spot in a defense that recently acquired William Jackson III to complement Kyle Fuller. This is not to say the WFT is perfect on the offensive side of the ball. Washington could use a left tackle, wide receiver, running back and a quarterback of the future to learn from Ryan Fitzpatrick. The depth in the draft at receiver and offensive tackle allows the Washington Football Team to potentially fill these needs later on in the draft. The opportunity to fill a need and create a young, elite defense is too good to pass up.

Enter Zaven Collins as the answer to help solidify this defense. Collins was a three-year starter at Tulsa where he demonstrated his explosiveness and instincts. Some scouts may be concerned with his speed, but Collins is more than adequate with coverage skills. He is a three-down linebacker that Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio can find a spot for him on the defense. Collins is a larger linebacker (6-foot-4, 260 pounds) and can also support as a pass rusher. This would be a great opportunity for need to meet availability in the draft. Zaven Collins would be an immediate starter on a team looking to lock up the top spot in a weak division. Collins could be the finishing piece and an already stout defense.

Erik Schlitt’s thoughts:

As nrs001 mentioned, there are a lot of possible ways Washington could go with this pick and Collins is a nice mesh of need and value. He would immediately become the best linebacker on the team and a welcome upgrade at the second level.

Collins reminds me a lot of Anthony Barr. At 260-pounds, he is big enough to stop the run and rush the passer, while his instincts and athleticism make him a reliable option in pass coverage. Collins is talented enough to stay on the field on all three downs and can be a fixture for Washington build around, even though he’s not likely going to play at the MIKE.


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