The Buccaneers traded up to the fifth round in the 2022 NFL Draft to take Zyon McCollum; one of the most athletic corners in NFL history.
If you like upside players, you are going to love Zyon McCollum with the Buccaneers.
Sheer athleticism isn’t everything in the modern NFL, but it sure does help. Very few poor athletes find success at the highest level, but Zyon McCollum wouldn’t know what that feels like.
McCollum is the perfect mix of size and athleticism. Six feet two inches and the ability to run a 4.33 40-yard dash and a 6.48 three-cone drill officially makes McCollum the most athletic corner to come to the NFL since 1987.
Athleticism is such an important tool in the modern game. Teams consider this a major need, and the ability to pair athleticism like this with a polished player puts teams in positions to win games and players in positions to get plenty of individual accolades.
However, athleticism is not the only part of the equation.
McCollum needs to grow as a player with the Buccaneers
McCollum might be more athletic than some of his counterparts, but they have depth in their game that he does not. Sacrificing a small bit of athleticism for a guy that has excellent tape and at a better school is why other players went before one of the newest Buccaneers.
Still, the Bucs were able to pair McCollum, the most athletic safety in the class, with Todd Bowles, one of the best defensive minds in the NFL. Does anyone think this pairing won’t bring out the best in both?
Bowles has a history of getting the most out of his players. Prime athletes like Jamel Dean and Devin White join the Buccaneers and immediately make an impact. It might take McCollum a bit longer based on his starting point, but he is in a perfect position to make massive strides under one of the best defensive minds in the NFL that is perfectly-suited to develop defensive athletes.
Athleticism isn’t everything, but it certainly can be when you pair it with a coach like the one leading the Buccaneers.
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