Zyon McCollum An “Elite” Athlete

May 2nd, 2022

Rookie Bucs cornerback Zyon McCollum.

If you watch highlights of Bucs rookie fifth-round pick cornerback Zyon McCollum, something jumps out quickly.

Though it is Division I-AA football at Sam Houston State, McCollum is a man among boys. The guy is everywhere making plays. There is a reason. It seems McCollum is a superior athlete.

An analytics site that focuses strictly on the athletic ability of players uses all sorts of factors to determine how athletic a football player is. It’s called Relative Athletics Score. And in their study of McCollum, he scored a 10 out of 10 and was their first cornerback since 1987 to score a perfect 10.0.

Per this grading system, other corners McCollum compares to are Marshon Lattimore (Saints), Darrelle Revis (soon-to-be Hall of Famer) and Kevin King (Packers and Scotty Miller’s friend).

Joe sure hopes McCollum turns out to be more like Lattimore and Revis than he does King.

42 Responses to “Zyon McCollum An “Elite” Athlete”

  1. Bucsfan4ever Says:

    Can he tackle?

  2. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    Is he a “diamond in the rough”? I found him ranked at 17th and 25th on a couple of draft prospects lists. What are your expectations for a 5th round pick?

  3. Conte Piscatelli Says:

    Just don’t be another Myron Lewis

  4. BREVARD Buc. Says:

    Thank you Kevin King. Thank you very much.
    Without you… maybe we don’t get our chip?!

  5. Bucsfanman Says:

    Can he contribute and provide depth? I have low expectations for 5th rounders so…lets hope the kid can play.

  6. Bruce Blahak Says:

    Major athlete, team leader…gotta be a hole in his game. 5th round for what reason?

  7. acey Says:

    Kid fell into the 5th for the reason mentioned in the article; Division-IAA. He’s unproven. He has everything you could dream of in a corner and more, but he hasn’t played against elite talent.

  8. Brendahadababy Says:

    Sheesh. Tough crowd here, Joe. Stupid, but tough.

  9. TBChucky Says:

    This kid sounds like a bargain in the 5th! All the projections I’ve seen had him going in the 3rd or earlier. There will be an adjustment phase as he gets used to NFL athletes. But I fully expect him to take over for SMB.. Perhaps by years end..

  10. STL-BucsFan Says:

    there’s another 5th round CB on the Bucs and in his prime was a shut down CB. Richard Sherman. I’m not saying Zyon is the next Sherman but if he’s the athletic freak he seems to be then maybe he’s a solid 2 with potential 1 CB. What was his Wonderlic score? anyone know?

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    McCollum was, by one set of measurements, the most athletic cornerback at the combine in 25 years — at 6-foot-2, he ran the 40 in 4.33 seconds and had a 39.5-inch vertical leap.

    We could have easily picked Zion in the 3rd round and there would be very few complaints.

    Very, very happy with this pick.

  12. dmatt Says:

    My concern too is can he tackle?

  13. Steven007 Says:

    I’m happy with the pick but a bit confused by the score. Yes it’s relative and that might be the difference. But how can you have an average of a perfect 10 when literally every single scoring metric is below 10? Not only that but his bench measurement, which granted isn’t very important for a corner, was below seven. Everything averaged would clearly be below 10. So I don’t understand the scoring but I guess it’s not that important.

  14. Dooley Says:

    Biggest thing for Z-Mac would be translating all that athleticism and adapting himself to the rise in level of talent & speed of the pro game. Also polishing his technique up, which is going to take some time during year 1. Wouldn’t say expecting him to beat out Davis/Dean/SMB is realistic, but I don’t count out Z-Mac pushing Cockrell & Delaney for their snaps in sub packages or as a reserve to our starters before the season ends. Gunner would be a great spot from the beginning for McCollum to get his feet wet.

  15. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I guess it’s like ranking chicks…….if they get enough 9s….they become a 10….

  16. Hodad Says:

    If he played at Georgia with those measurables he would’ve been a top five pick. Did we just get real lucky? Listening to his interview this kid isn’t raw, he just comes from a small school. He’s played plenty of football, and all over the secondary. Outside, slot, and even safety. He now just needs to adapt to the speed of the NFL, and he has the speed to do so. Great pick, I have a feeling once he gets his shot do to an injury, he may never give that job back.

  17. Irishmist Says:

    I guess we’ll find out when he tries to cover Scotty in practice.

  18. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I’m happy with the pick, this kid has a ton of potential!
    Now, we have to really coach him up

  19. SB~LV Says:

    How about elite football player?

  20. Bird Says:

    Man this is a tough crowd. At worst he plays special teams being a captain and gunner in college

    Watch his tape. He can tackle. We need guys that can tackle
    No more softies who shy away From being physical

  21. Stone crab sam Says:

    As long as he doesn’t get the moniker ‘toast two’, I’m good with him😎

  22. Jor God tha Binks Says:


    Exactly what you said. I think what happened was in the lost decade is that 90% of our fan base really started to believe they were better GM’s than any we had during the period (which why awful, is just not true at all) so they’re still getting used the fact we are relevant and have someone who we’ve seen blossom into a a great GM in front of our eyes….so that’s why our fan base has such “stupid, but tough” people as a good majority AND that’s why they think their decisions of players either rival or trump JL’s and the entire FO and Scouting staff and this is why so many come off as hoity-tooth, analytical, cynical, all-knowing, “stupid, but tough”, arrogant and GM-like.

    While I feel they’re so misguided (it’s almost not even funny anymore), I’m glad they feel they have the space to provide us their GM thinking cap ideas and opinions, and let us know what was or wasnt a good decision for our Football team or in the Draft.

    ….Which I personally liked the Draft a lot and it just made a lot of sense (and cents if Camarda comes through). I think it’s becoming obvious that we are gonna help Brady by running it more too. There’s many reasons I think that is and some of the players we Drafted and or signed as UDFA’s are a big part of that. But that’s a whole other conversation for a whole other day.

  23. NDoGS burner Account Says:

    Yooooo, Tristan Wirfs needs to get back on the sauce

  24. Casual Observer Says:

    This guy epitomizes “potential”. Could be terrific.

  25. MadMax Says:

    Great find. Im excited to see him become a starter. Hate i missed on him but i work a lot and do this for fun. Dont have time to scout them all unless its paying my bills. Amazing our division rival saints first 3 picks are guys i named for us.

  26. Bucsfan13 Says:

    The Florida CB Elam told the Bills coaches to leave the playbook on the plane after his draft day phone call. I love it when win now teams make draft choices that will have an immediate impact. I wonder what our new “combine champion” CB told our coaches. Elite athleticism doesn’t always translate to the football field, especially at the CB position where you need to be technically sound.

  27. Brandon Says:

    Al Harris was a 6th round pick out of Texas A &I by the Bucs and was cut a year later and went on to nearly get in the HOF.

  28. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    The way I boil down what has been said so far is that McCollum is unproven with very high upside. That fits what I understand by the idea of a “diamond in the rough”. We are all trying to guess the future. That’s what makes fan debate so much fun for me. Only time will tell if he proves to be a “steal” in the 5th round. I will watch him closely between now and the first week of September.

  29. Bruce Blahak Says:

    toast reference, oh the memories! lol…the first lost decade

  30. StickinUp4Centers Says:

    To answer the questions about how the “10” ranking is achieved. Each category places the individual in a percentile. For example, his 40 yard dash is 9.88 or 98.8%, meaning he ran the 40 faster than 98.8% of CBs who have ever run the 40. The 10 is a total score that takes into account all of the categories. The categories are weighted based on position, which is why bench press doesn’t distract from his total score. The overall 10 rating is a bit of “magic” based on this site’s formula, but it still is an interesting stat.

  31. SlyPirate Says:

    Zyon will acclimate to NFL talent practicing against the Bucs’ WR and TB12.

  32. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Pump the brakes; heard all of this on Jalen Dardon and App st D Jax before as well

  33. sasquatch Says:

    The only reason he was around that late was the competition level at a small school program. But he snagged 13 interceptions there and played well. He seems to be a bright kid and coachable, so al the pieces are there for him to develop. As usual, Bucs fans gotta complain and be skeptical about everything…

  34. K2 Says:

    Love this pick!! He could be great!

  35. David Says:

    Way more important than the 40 is the 10 yard split, the shuttle, the cone and the vertical. The kid is elite in all of it. I don’t expect much this year as a late round rookie but it seems the sky is the limit moving forward

    Do we know if he can return punts?

  36. Cobraboy Says:

    “Bold Prediction” (which I rarely, if ever, make): McCollum will become one of the most effective ST cover guys in the NFL very quickly.

    I suspect he was picked more for STs than for CB depth.

  37. sasquatch Says:

    His immediate impact will be as a gunner, but I have no doubt that they expect him to develop into a quality starting CB. The learning curve will be there, but it’s just a question of how well he can learn. Bright kid, seems willing. Can’t ask for more out of a 5th rounder than what he offers.

  38. Pete timchal Says:

    If this kid stays healthy, he will Jason’s best draft pick ever, at least I hope. Kid has the it factor. He can run with anyone long or short. The bates QBs kinda like primetime used to. Kid has some closing speed likes we have never seen here in tampa.

  39. Chris Flores Says:

    Sherman will have him up to nfl speed in no time

  40. Buc92’ Says:

    Why does everyone look like Joe tryon lol


  41. Esteban85 Says:

    Hodad: how do you decipher if someone is raw or not by listening to his interview? Unless you mean a raw personality? I do agree with you that this kid has raw potential. Obviously he’s not gonna get NFL type snaps at SHS.

    The great thing about statistics is that you can manipulate them by the stats you choose and the weight you put on them. This grade seems like a bit of fuzzy math to me but I’ll take it! He’s a freaking 10 out of 10! Which means absolutely nothing right now.

  42. Rod Munch Says:

    Also he was the top rated corner they’ve ever seen in their test. Now that database isn’t complete, some players won’t be in there, but what it means is that in this particular test, looking at these numbers, he’s a remarkable athlete who can do everything, physically.

    Which makes you wonder how he lasted until the 5th round.