Bold Call

May 5th, 2023

Second-year cornerback Zyon McCollum.

The Buccaneers are crazy excited about the player that cost them a fourth-round draft pick last week.

That’s second-year man and freakish athlete, Zyon McCollum, the cornerback they picked in Round 5 last year. The Bucs traded their 2023 fourth-round pick during the 2022 draft so they could pounce on McCollum.

He pulled a hamstring in training camp. It set him back and he was shaky when he did hit the field on defense. McCollum looked overmatched as an outside cornerback but definitely flashed a little at nickel corner. Typical rookie stuff from a raw fifth-round pick.

McCollum shined at times on special teams, but his cornerbacks coach, Kevin Ross, cautioned this week that McCollum is about to become a household name among Bucs fans.

“I expect him to be the most improved player on both sides of the ball. Period,” Ross said.

Ross, a two-time Pro Bowl corner during his playing days, raved about how McCollum is a great student of the game and showed enough to have coaches steaming with confidence. Ross also noted the injuries and how tough that is on a very young player.

Will McCollum be the Bucs’ starting nickel this season? He’ll have to beat out Dee Delaney and hope the Bucs don’t re-sign veteran Logan Ryan to a super-cheap contract.

46 Responses to “Bold Call”

  1. SB~LV Says:

    Sounds of spring…

  2. Eric Says:

    I will take him learning over both of them!

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Zyon is a stud….an athletic freak……runs 4.3……..I trust Ross….”most improved on BOTH sides of the ball”…..
    But, I hope he’s wrong there….I hope Rachaad White is the most improved.

  4. Marine Buc Says:

    Based on what the Bucs did in the draft and the free agency period I would say – YES – Zyon will probably be our starting CB3…

    I say “starting CB3” because we will probably be in Nickel or Dime coverage 75-80% of the time.

    Hopefully he can stay healthy and turn into a sold Nickel Corner for us.

  5. D-Rok Says:

    Zyon had a PBU on the goal-line in a game last year. It was impressive and I was hoping that play would light a spark under him. Hopefully that spark shows itself this year!

  6. sasquatch Says:

    He’s got all the athletic talent he needs. If he’s a student and a hard worker, should just be a matter of marrying the mental and physical aspects so he can play with the big boys. No reason to not be optimistic about him.

  7. Buc4evr Says:

    Hope springs eternal or just a slow day for Buc’s news….

  8. Mike Says:

    He was burned more times than I can count, but being thrown into the fire is a great learning tool. If he’s smart and can learn from his mistakes, then he could very well be greatly improved.

  9. Pewter Power Says:

    He’ll have to beat out Dee Delaney?

    Does anyone remember dee Delaney being on the field zyon as a rookie? Delaney has to beat him out.

    he better not be most improved over Logan hall

  10. BUCman Says:

    Logan Ryan on a veteran minimum 1 year deal

  11. Kgh4life Says:

    He has potential, which means he ain’t gonna do damn thing.

  12. Hodad Says:

    The Bucs aren’t going back to Logan Ryan. The days if bringing in old vets to plug holes is over. We need to keep building with young players. I wouldn’t mind seeing Ryan return as a future coach. His playing days are behind him.

  13. BUCman Says:

    This is off topic but just saw Nick Foles was released. Can see BUCS signing him as our veteran QB3.

  14. Destinjohnny Says:

    Dont see it.

  15. SB~LV Says:

    McCollum did make a few plays maybe one in particular but I don’t remember the details.
    Anything that a rookie does is a bonus!
    The season will turn on the play from the quarterback position, just a functional quarterback moving the ball and taking what the defense is giving along with the ability to make plays outside the pocket when needed will be a huge improvement from last year.

  16. Joe in Michigan Says:

    The kid definitely has some things going for him, with size and speed. We’ll see if he’s ready to play.

  17. Cho Says:

    I’m excited about McCollum as depth, but he’s definitely not a nickel. The guy’s 6’2 and has elite straight line speed, but quickness not so much. Special teams ace and great depth? Sure.

  18. Mike Johnson Says:

    Say SB LV, You call them sounds of springs. Thats being nice. We all know they are..The Lies of spring..LOL

  19. Brandon Says:

    The most concerning thing for me was his missed tackles and bad angles he was taking to not even have a chance to miss tackles. He reminded me of Justin Evans and his college tackling tape. Not good at all. Hope he can improve in all areas. I still like the pick. He’s way too talented to not take a chance on.

  20. DRFEELGOOD Says:

    i remember watching the NFL Network pre draft show before the Saturday rounds and I think it was Brian Robinson that said McCollum would be the steal of that day. I had never heard of him but was so excited to get him that day since I had heard that. I have a feeling we are are gonna sneak up on some people this year that think we are gonna suck. Definitely not The Lost Decade revisited. GO BUCS!!

  21. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Cho Says:
    May 5th, 2023 at 4:34 pm
    I’m excited about McCollum as depth, but he’s definitely not a nickel. The guy’s 6’2 and has elite straight line speed, but quickness not so much. Special teams ace and great depth? Sure
    His 10 yard split was 1.46 seconds, which is in the top 99.3%, and his quickness is rated a 95 out of a 100 at the “NFL Combine Results” website…His tackling, that’s the question I have.

  22. adam from ny Says:

    can he smoothly replace SMB on the squad might be the question

  23. adam from ny Says:

    oh wow…nick foles…released…

    he’s straight up a lightning in the bottle type guy…

    if we go mayfield, foles def can make for easy breathing as a backup…

    yet he hasn’t done much the past couple of years…

    and then again he could get in the way of one kyle trask…

    but def a name to float and ponder

  24. Rod Munch Says:

    From a physical standpoint the kid is amazing, he as perfect RAS score of 10, which means he ranked 1 out of 2001 CB from 1987 to 2022.

    He’s 6′ 2″, has a 39.5″ vertical, an 11″ broad jump, ran a 4.33, his shuttle was 3.94 and a 3-cone of 6.48. Those are all elite numbers – in addition to the 10 yard split. There’s nothing in his numbers that show he’s only a straight line runner.

    The reason he didn’t go until the 5th round is because he was greener than grass and played at a small school and is clearly a developmental player. But man, if things click for him, wow, you got yourself someone who can be one of the best in the game. That’s a HUGE leap from where we are now, but he has an amazing amount of potential.

  25. Dewey Says:

    He better learn to tackle soon. Was a glaring problem last year when he was in the game. Panthers and Falcons were running right at him with heavy formations . It was ugly.

  26. BuxfaninTX Says:

    The Bucs lead the league the last 2 years in hamstring injuries..
    what’s up with their training staff????

  27. Infomeplease Says:

    For me…Seeing is believing!! I hope the kid is vastly improved. We’ll see!

  28. Crickett Baker Says:

    I saw Foles released too, but I also saw an article saying we didn’t have enough cap space left to even sign our draftees. It said something about restructuring Mike Evans’s contract, but I thought we had already done that. I am still worried about where we are going to get the money.

  29. Itzok Says:

    This guy was terrible. He doesn’t belong on an nfl field based on how awful he was when he did get on the field. I predict he gets cut before end of camp

  30. gotbbucs Says:

    Who here expects Carlton Davis and Jamel Dean to make it through the season without missing games? C’mon, let’s see those hands.

    If not Zyon, someone else will see plenty of playing time. There’s no chance that our outside corners both stay healthy all year. Death, taxes, and injured players in the secondary.

  31. Beej Says:

    They spend a 4th and a 5th on him, he HAS to perform

  32. Joe in Michigan Says:

    There are a lot of “IF’s” involved with McCollum, JTS, and Logan Hall, but IF these guys are good this year, and IF Kancey is good in his rookie year, the Bucs could have a very good defense.

  33. Ugotrobbed Says:

    Show us!!

  34. Buccos Says:

    The kid is an athlete but is he a football player?

  35. steele Says:

    Every member of the coaching staff, every offseason: “We are excited about (add name here). (Add name here) is going to be great.”

    In what was supposed to be one of the better (but still costly) moves in a bad draft, Zyon was supposed to provide instant impact. He was awful last season. You’re only as good as your recent record, and his sucks. So he’d better greatly improve. Moving him around may also be problematic. Nickel, outside, whatever, clock is ticking.

  36. Cobraboy Says:

    Everybody is All Pro in spring practice.

  37. Buc1987 Says:

    We’ll see what he does in only his 2nd year.

  38. Capt.Tim Says:

    As often as we disagree- its amazing how we loved the Zyom McCollum pick.
    If he can translate all that talent into skill- hes gonna be a monster!
    Id bet on him!

  39. Rod Munch Says:

    He was a 5th rounder, to ever even play a meaningful snap is a big deal as most 5th rounders never play a down beyond, maybe, special teams.

    But again, just based on his raw physical abilities, which are amazing – the reason he lasted that long is because he’s green than grass. He stunk last year when they put him in games, but that’s exactly what you expect to happen, and he was only playing because of injuries.

    Remember even Ronde Barber only played a handful of downs his rookie year.

    In any case, he’s still a long shot to ever becoming a good player, which, again, is why he was a late pick.

  40. FrontFour Says:

    We’re in a 2-3 year rebuild. Lots of young guys with talent. Let’s give them a chance to pull it together.

  41. Buccos Says:


  42. Geno711 Says:

    Agree with Joe in Michigan.

    He has elite skills that could make him good at being out nickel corner. If the DB coach is saying he thinks he has the mental goods, this could be a steal of a pick from last year.

  43. Proudbucsfan Says:

    I agree with you FrontFour. There are so many trolls out, they need to go back under the rock they came from. McCollum was a 5th round pick, people need to be patient with him. IMO he will be a starter eventually.

  44. JonBucFan Says:

    When I am feeling too optimistic about life and the Bucs. I remind myself “ Hey JonBucFan, you need to check yourself fast! So I come on here to read the numerous miserably sad sack of Debbie downers that comment on this site. Then I know I am a true Jet Fan!

  45. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    No, he’ll have to beat out Hayes and that’s it.

  46. Goatfarmer Says:

    This guy is the DB version of Headless Chicken JTS. Athleticism galore. No football know how. Kind of bad when your job is professional football. Although at least he doesn’t have a prayer of understanding or remembering his multiple assignments per play, broken down into scenarios, options, and telegraphed blitzes. He’ll be great.