Zaven Collins: No choice but to be ready to start Week 1

The Jaguars are trying to play it coy about naming Trevor Lawrence their starting quarterback for his rookie season, but the Cardinals saw no point to smokescreens when it comes to their top pick in this year’s draft.

Immediately after drafting Zaven Collins, Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim said that the team plans on starting him alongside Isaiah Simmons at inside linebacker. Veteran linebacker Jordan Hicks was given permission to seek a trade to make their intentions even clearer and Collins discussed his acceptance of those expectations on Wednesday.

Collins told reporters that “it’s a lot of pressure” to be anointed as the starter right off the bat, but it’s pressure that he welcomes because he feels ready to do what the Cardinals are asking.

“I am, but there’s no choice,” Collins said, via the team’s website. “Whether you’re ready or not, you’ve got to be there. They expect a lot of me here, and I put a lot into it. I do what is asked of me and I try to do the best I can. That’s something I work toward every day — knowing the defense, being able to call the defense, being able to get everyone in the right position and know how this thing works.”

Collins said he’s “made a ton of mistakes” in his brief NFL career and eliminating as many of them as possible will be a key part of the Cardinals’ work head into Week 1 of this season.

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