A Trusted Recommendation For Zyon McCollum

May 12th, 2022

Bucs rookie cornerback Zyon McCollum

After hearing an in-depth interview this week, Joe now understands why the Bucs traded up to draft speedster rookie ballhawk cornerback Zyon McCollum out of Sam Houston State.

As Day 3 of the draft cruised along, the Bucs dipped into their 2023 stash of picks and made their second trade of the draft with Jacksonville.

General manager Jason Licht traded his 2023 fourth-round pick for a Jacksonville fifth-rounder at No. 157 overall this year, and a 2022 seventh-rounder. At No. 157 — the 14th pick of Round 5 — Tampa Bay drafted McCollum.

Last week, the Locked On Bucs podcast interviewed McCollum’s college head coach K.C. Keeler. It’s no surprise that Keeler loves the Bucs’ pick, but his appreciation and connections run a lot deeper than that.

Keeler noted McCollum was so dedicated he had to change team rules so McCollum wouldn’t burn out practicing and training too much. But more interesting was Keeler, a former linebacker, noting that Bucs safeties coach Nick Rapone was his defensive coordinator in the 1970s. And Keeler was a Pennsylvania neighbor of Bucs cornerbacks coach Kevin Ross.

Do Keeler’s ties to the Bucs run deeper? They sure do. He said he knows Todd Bowles and Bucco Bruce Arians well and was on the Bucs sidelines during a game last preseason.

This all means that Licht had strong and trustworthy intel on McCollum. And it must have been fantastic enough to get Licht back in the draft by coughing up next year’s fourth-round pick.

13 Responses to “A Trusted Recommendation For Zyon McCollum”

  1. SB~LV Says:

    Yeah … Monte got suckered on that Nebraska LB Barrett or something . Monte had Cornhuskers connections

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I’m quite confident in the McCollom pick…..and very surprised he was still there in the middle of the 5th…..we got lucky…….hats off to Licht for this move.

    We desperately needed another CB and the 2022 draft wouldn’t look the same without this pick

  3. Joe in Michigan Says:

    This is the guy I wanted the Bucs to draft in the 4th…The Bucs got better on Special Teams, IF McCollum is a good gunner (and IF Jake Camarda is a good punter).

  4. rrsrq Says:

    Starting the day three draft, NFL Network had McCollum listed as top three talent left on the board before the day began, the fact that we got him in the 5th, I thought was a steal. I did not know much about him, but I do remember wanting him based on position and what the NFL Network analyst thought of him.

  5. Allbuccedup Says:

    Joe in Michigan rather wished they would have picked another DB with that 4th pick instead of a punter.

  6. TDTB2022 Says:

    He will be our next Rhonde. Like Rhonde it took him a while to get up to speed. But the rest is history.

  7. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Allbuccedup Says:
    May 12th, 2022 at 5:29 pm
    Joe in Michigan rather wished they would have picked another DB with that 4th pick instead of a punter.
    I rolled my eyes at first, but as long as he’s a good punter I don’t have a problem with it.

  8. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    The NFL Network analyst had him as one the best available day 3, and as we all know, they are seldom wrong, LOL
    Seriously, I like this Kid, and think we got a steal!

  9. SlyPirate Says:


    6’2, 200lbs, 4.33, 65QBR

    Rookie will be a heavy rotation (possible starter) before EOY.

  10. chris bell Says:


  11. PSL Bob Says:

    Can’t wait to see what this kid can do at the next level. Hopefully, he impresses coaches enough in training camp that he can become a rotational player in the backfield this season.

  12. Eckwood Says:

    I believe a punter went before the Bucs so someone else feels value in the kicking game besides the Bucs ………. With the the cap situation and the dropping performance of Pinion the Bucs had to be targeting the top two or three punters in the draft . When the top punter goes you have very little choice when your cap and punting situation is like the Bucs was ( free agency not an option) . I truly believe , team wise this was a great pic and hopefully the Bucs have a game this year where someone is able to say the punter was huge in that win !! ………… that being said the Roberto pick years back was a disaster because it didn’t have the above said ramifications and the kid wasn’t good his senior year and simply struggled kicking middle of the field and NFL hashes are narrower ……… I hated hated that pick and I really like this pick 👍

  13. Buczilla Says:

    That’s a pretty awesome story.