Zyon McCollum: “Within A Week I’m A Completely Changed Player”

May 19th, 2022

The Bucs’ rookie is revved up.

Hardcore Bucs fans will remember that Tampa Bay traded next year’s fourth-round draft pick for a 2022 fifth-rounder last month. And that was done to select cornerback Zyon McCollum.

The Bucs were hot on the trail of the Sam Houston State ballhawk, and McCollum said he already has made a huge leap since leaving his lesser-known college program.

“Within a week I’m a completely changed player from what I was in college,” McCollum told WDAE radio this morning.

That’s a bold statement, especially considering McCollum said the Bucs do not want to overhaul his game and are only tweaking it.

He said Todd Bowles emphasizes to McCollum that he only wants him to play at a high level. “He tells me he doesn’t want to turn me into a robot.”

McCollum added that the Bucs were not the team most interested in him through the draft process, but they were the only team telling him they would draft him. He said that was early in the process and he heard little from the Bucs until draft day.

McCollum hasn’t met Tom Brady yet but Brady’s locker is three lockers away from his and he stares at The Goat’s space daily.

Joe doesn’t expect to see much of the rookie in the regular season. But if he’s the talent the Bucs think he is, then there are plenty of special teams openings in which McCollum to shine quickly.

38 Responses to “Zyon McCollum: “Within A Week I’m A Completely Changed Player””

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I suspect he’s beaming with confidence now that he was drafted….and the way he was drafted…..by a team that said they wanted him and then traded a pick from next year to buy back into the draft this year to pick him.

  2. Buczilla Says:

    I’m not expecting much from a fifth round pick, but considering who he’s competing against it wouldn’t shock me if he were a starter by year’s end.

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    Zyon McCollum: “Within A Week I’m A Completely Changed Player from what I was in college”.

    COMPLETELY changed? In ONE week? Less talk rookie. Swag is a good thing, but earning the nickname ‘Swaggy’ conjures up very bad memories for Bucs’ fans. Strut your stuff but be cool doing it; you’ve got a long way to go to crack the starting lineup.

  4. Pewter Power Says:

    This was a smart move if the Bucs are planning for life without dean or smb, maybe it will truly be one or the other anyway.

  5. SB~LV Says:

    lol… wait until his first NFL game snaps when OC’s are going to test you out for real.. lol
    Keep your yap shut rook !

  6. K2 Says:

    CB always get nicked-up…so he will get his chance. Zyon will be a draft diamond…just need a little Bowles’ polish.

  7. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Nice confidence! He said something similar in a press conference recently. He said that the field is a lot smaller in the NFL meaning he’s being coached that he can trust the guy next to him to do his job versus in college he felt like he was asked by coaches to do everything and cover the whole field every play.

    Time will tell if he’s just a work out warrior (10/10 RAS score) or a football player.

    I hope it’s the latter.

  8. Biff Barker Says:

    “simmer down Francis”

  9. Buc92’ Says:

    We don’t have all world corners , it’s a good chance he could get significant playing time early if he balls , regardless of where he was drafted , that means nothing it’s about what u do with the opportunity. Go get em Zyon


  10. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    I doubt the Bucs gave up next year’s 4th draft pick to only play on special teams this year. I imagine they are looking for him to compete with SMB as nickel CB.

  11. Conte Piscatelli Says:

    Here is the thing. The kid has all the raw tools to play the position at a high level physically. Given that talent I imagine he didn’t really need technique or receive high level coaching at San Houston state. Maybe he is finally being coached up at his position and is starting to make sense to him how much better he can be.

  12. rrsrq Says:

    How many promises did the Bucs make, lol, you get drafted, you get drafted, you get drafted (all by the Bucs), I’m sure they told Hutchinson and Thibedeaux if they are there, Buc s will draft them

  13. Kgh4life Says:

    The way how Zyon is built I doubt he’s a nickel corner, you don’t see too much 6-2 200lbs nickel cbs.

  14. SB Says:

    josh norman was drafted in the fifth round.

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    Kgh4Life … Agreed. Besides, SMB’s main competitor for time at Nickel will be Logan Ryan (almost all of his career has been at CB). And I can see Edwards & Neal duking it out for starting Safety, with the ‘loser’ probably getting quite a few snaps as the 5th or even 6th man in the Secondary on quite a few plays. In tough games, when he has a choice, Bowles seems to lean towards guys with experience in ‘the system’. Come to think of it, most coaches do more than likely.

  16. PassingThru Says:

    Ryan is a good DB. He functions as a slot CB and can tackle well enough to be a light box safety. That skill set makes him a good fit in nickel packages.

  17. Alvafan Says:

    Measurables are great if you have the smarts to use them

  18. Bucsfan13 Says:

    We could’ve used Bradberry or any high impact defensive piece this year. Wake up, Licht! Our defense needs help immediately. Where are the Glazers? If this is supposedly an all in year, why is Licht sitting on his hands? I loved the aggressiveness of some of the other NFC teams.

  19. Thisisouryear!!! Says:

    I don’t think he’s being cocky, just young and overexcited. Being coached in a total different manner than before, excited that he thinks he’s going to improve. It’s awesome to hear the enthusiasm.

  20. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Let the kid be excited….I don’t blame him….he got drafted and now has great coaches to guide him…..

  21. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Kgh4life Says: @AlabamaBucsFan
    The way how Zyon is built I doubt he’s a nickel corner, you don’t see too much 6-2 200lbs nickel cbs.

    Yes, nickel CB are usually smaller due to their quickness, hips and short area speed, but Zyon posted an incredible 6.48 3 cone drill, 4.33 40, and 3.94 20 yard shuttle at the combine. He has the tools to be great inside our outside.

    If I recall, SMB is 6’1″ 195.

  22. Tony Says:

    Yep don’t understand why we didn’t consider signing Bradberry & Fuller is still out there, too! Just doesn’t make any sense. Could also use another DE or DT, too! Sure I’m sure it’s $$$$ also. They could very easily go out & sign at least one more CB, DE & DT if they’re not gonna bring JPP & Suh back.

  23. Tony Says:

    I guess Licht is expecting the offense to score 30 or 40 every week all the time. That NO game last year was a perfect example of how they can’t have that & how they will end up in defensive games at times because neither one of those offenses did anything.

  24. firethecannons Says:

    Corners get hurt especially or guys, we will definitely be seeing him in the lineup heard dee delaney having a good camp so far

  25. firethecannons Says:


  26. SlyPirate Says:


    He’ll will be giving Evans and TB12 fits by the end of camp.
    He’ll be a starter in at least 5 games this year.
    He’ll be a full-time starter by EOY.
    He and CD will be the best 1-2 DBs in the league. In two years.

    Don’t discount Zyon because he was a 5th. He’s got all-world size and speed. In a three-year redraft, he’ll be a 1st rounder.

  27. Proudbucsfan Says:

    I really like this kid. My favorite pick of this draft. If he gets the reps in the regular season I’m hoping he wins rookie of the year. He’s got all the tools to do it, if Hall can get the pressures and Barrett gets the sacks. He’s in the perfect situation to succeed.

  28. Bucsfanman Says:

    Look, corners get hurt all the time. We NEED this guy to play at a reasonably high level for a rookie 5th round pick.

  29. Capt.Tim Says:

    I believe we drafted 3 future stars
    Our new Guard, TE- and Zyon.
    I think he will be lined up next to Carlton Davis next year.

  30. MadMax Says:

    He just needs some tweaking. Get his stances fixed and his hip placements.

    We’ll see him in the regular season, count on it….steal of the draft.

  31. BillyBucco Says:

    DR I kinda thought like you at 1st that really dude, COMPLETELY?
    Then my buddy said yeah but it’s probably because of what Bowles said to him.
    Think about it. So worried about if you will pick up the defense but confident.
    I hope they like my abilities etc.

    Then Bowles says I wanna turn you loose.
    If you watch his tape one of the things he shines at is keeping an eye on what the QB is doing. He is a ball hawk like that.
    At his size and speed he could be elite.

    This frees up a dude like nothing else.
    Kudos to Bowles for recognizing it.

    I bet this guy picks off 5 passes this year.

  32. Defense Rules Says:

    BillyBucco … Spent about 5 years of my career teaching young pilots how to fly fighters. They’d get through their initial training in air combat, focusing primarily on canned scenarios, and some tended to get quite cocky, convinced they were God’s gift to the fighter pilot world. It was always so much fun turning the old heads loose near the end of that phase & teaching the youngsters ‘humility’. Canned scenarios are one thing; running with the big dogs is quite another.

    This is underwear football after all. When guys like Mike Evans & Godwin & Gronk put the moves on him for real then Zyon may have to eat a little humble pie.

  33. ClwJB Says:

    Gunners on punt coverage change 5 games a week

    Having a blazing fast, athletic, playmaker at gunner improves ST immediately

    Pin backs, forced fumbles, downed inside the 5 – all change the landscape of the game instantly

    We have depth to develop him at CB – maximize his value this year on ST

  34. David Says:

    I expect to see him as a gunner, and why not give him a chance returning balls, but other than that, just really interested to see how he develops over the next 2 to 3 years

  35. catcard202 Says:

    Expectation for the young fella needs to be:
    1) Make the 53man roster. (not always a sure thing for a 5th rd pick.
    2) Earn gunner ST role to get on the field & show out.
    3) Develop/earn a BU CB role by mid-season. (& take advantage of every rep)
    4) Be ready to take a starting CB role in 2023…1 of Dean/SMB will not be back.

  36. LakelandSteve Says:

    If Dean and SMB play like they did last year then McCollum will be a starter by week 4.

  37. kgh4life Says:

    Zyon is getting better coaching that’s why he’s so confident.

  38. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Really like this kids abilities. Coach him up. After last season with our DBs getting injured n barely playing together I hope this kid is ready