Zyon McCollum Is Ahead Of Jamel Dean’s Development

December 10th, 2023

Joe floated a thought during today’s game on X. “Is Zyon McCollum now the Bucs’ best cornerback?

It’s sort of a radical take, but it’s no longer the kind of question that would have fans questioning Joe’s sanity.

McCollum, a 2022 fifth-round pick, has developed and developed and developed, slowly and steadily to the point where today he looked like a big-time starter performing well in a must-win game against a talented Panthers receiving corps.

McCollum led the Bucs with nine combined tackles (six solo) in Atlanta, and he led the team with two official passes defensed plus a forced fumble. And those were special plays.

At 6-2, 200 pounds, McCollum is legitimately an elite athlete and an extra-long corner who is starting to remind Joe of a slightly quicker and more versatile version of starting cornerback Jamel Dean — back when Dean was a second-year player on the rise in 2020.

Dean was a mid-third-round pick and had the first-round athleticism and willingness to tackle that Joe sees in McCollum.

One difference, however, is that Dean played big time college ball at Auburn. McCollum walked into the Bucs’ veteran secondary with a bigger learning curve out of Sam Houston State. He had to earn all his stripes, some of them painful.

Joe talked to two people in the know after today’s thrilling win in Atlanta about McCollum. Each agreed that McCollum is probably a shade better than Dean was at the same point in their careers.

Player development has been a staple of the Todd Bowles defense and the Jason Licht regime. And it seems McCollum is another example. He’s good on special teams, too.

25 Responses to “Zyon McCollum Is Ahead Of Jamel Dean’s Development”

  1. DS Says:

    He looked great in coverage

  2. DS Says:

    Even with the phantom PI

  3. Tbbucs3 Says:

    McCollums strong preformance today is a good sign for next season as Id imagine he’ll earn a starting spot unless the Bucs want to keep overpaying for Dean and Davis.

    Gonna have to make a decision on whether or not to keep Dean or CD3….tbh I couldn’t decide on one of them right now. Both are just not that good. Dean is injury prone and outside of the interception today, Davis just looks slow and inconsistent.

  4. Joshua porter Says:

    When dean comes back why not move him to slot cb . What happened to get your best players on the field. Izen isn’t better than Dean or zyon.

  5. Tbbucs3 Says:

    The absence of a legitimate strong safety like Mike Edwards has exposed lots of issues in the secondary.

  6. D-Rome Says:

    The article reads as if it was meant to be released on Monday instead of tonight.

  7. David Says:

    He looks great. Ran with Scotty Miller, made some crucial tackles, I saw one bad coverage by him but overall he’s been very good.

  8. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Joe had a premature publication.

  9. BucsFan81 Says:

    Dean and Davis suck. They need to go this off season. Draft another CB or 2. We also need a Safety to replace Ryan Neal. Resign Winfield.

  10. Hammerhead Says:

    #27 is fine as kind.

  11. Buddha Says:

    Good post Joe. They tested him. He came up big. Kid can jump and plays long.

  12. Canabuc Says:

    I think Joe means Falcons receivers.
    Think he is a bit confused after watching Baker Mayfield look like utter Garbage for 58 minutes.

    Coaching staff not any better. Can’t believe one of the Falcons touchdowns we had 9 men in the field on defense….
    Bowles needs to go.

    Trask needs to get some starting reps.

  13. firethecannons Says:

    It would be fine with me if Todd Bowles was the DC and leave it at that but it does not work that way, whoever is the new HC will get his own DC. Bowles has to leave–we are an unnecessary bad team and need a new QB and that QB needs a OC and head coach that develop him. Sorry but Canales and Bowles are a liability with a new QB.

  14. Proudbucsfan Says:

    I like the kid, he is developing faster than Dean did. I have a feeling he is going to have more interceptions in his career also

  15. Lakeland Steve Says:

    The thing I like is he is playing hard and he is a bit of a thumper. Love his athleticism and how he never seems out of a play. The so called PI was a phantom call which left me wondering if the fix was in. Now he needs to start to consistently take the ball away and become the guy you don’t throw on. I think he has the ability and the desire to be that great.

  16. MadMax Says:

    He’s a keeper….let the others walk…they cost a lot and not playing to that level…easily replaced with our 4th and 5th round selections…(hello Mr Licht)

  17. Mord Says:

    JoeEdit: Falcons, not Panthers

    And yeah, he’s been pretty solid

  18. Fred Says:

    Get rid of bowles

  19. orlbucfan Says:

    Bucs win 2 games in a row, are in a 3-way tie for first place in the division, and we have the usual stupid yahoos screaming for Bowles’ head. I’m a Bucs Radio fan so checked out the video highlights on the team site this am. Atlanta played tough. They also got lucky on several caught passes. My complaint is Canales. Has he caught up with his talent on offense yet? It is starting to look that way. White had some beautiful plays, and I noticed he ran for over 100 yards. I also noticed the lack of holding calls against both teams. That penalty is a joke, and the league needs to abolish it. Next up is the Packers at Lambeau. Ohhhhh boy, hope this is Canales’ best game planning cos we’re gonna need it!

  20. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Dude played awesome. 5th rd pick looking like a stud. Way to go Jason. That’s one thing that’s confusing. Bowles developed davis dean whitehead Edwards and Windfield jr. All under Bowles in their 2nd n this years 20 and 21 they looked great. Besides the 2 that are gone and Windfield jr why does it looked like Davis and dean regressed ? Davis has surged the past 2 or 3 games he’s got 2 ints and has tackled well has some passes defended to so maybe he’s on the up but man in the beginning of the season they looked terrible. Now you add zyon to the backs developed by bowels. Bowles HC is terrible he’s defense has regressed but man he’s developed some DBs

  21. Beeej Says:

    Davis played well for the most part, still can’t get him being turned around on that long catch or of mind head. Considering how many games he and Dean miss, we NEED to have another starter -quality cb on the team

  22. Bobby Says:

    Joe you say player development has been a staple for the Bowles staff huh. Oook slow your roll there Joe. That’s what I will call hyperbole there.

  23. ATLBuc Says:

    Apparently you who are calling for the Bucs to let our starting cornerbacks walk dont remember all of the Lovie smith and Mike Smith years. Our cornerbacks were terrible for about a decade. Now you want to go back to that?

  24. ATLBuc Says:

    Bobby Says:
    December 11th, 2023 at 8:51 am
    Joe you say player development has been a staple for the Bowles staff huh. Oook slow your roll there Joe. That’s what I will call hyperbole there

    Bobby I have to agree with Joe on this one. With Lovie and Dirk NOBODY got any better after being drafted except players like Mike Chris and Devonte who worked to make themselves better. There were many like Heagraves, Spence, Banks OJ Howard that had so much raw talent and never got any better under those regimes.

  25. Nybuccguy Says:

    McCollum is our best CB. Dean us wildly inconsistent, and Davis is slow and stiff.