Jordan Hicks, now with Vikings, still influencing Zaven Collins

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The Arizona Cardinals drafted linebacker Zaven Collins in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft with the idea that he would replace veteran linebacker Jordan Hicks at inside linebacker. Hicks was even told he would not be able to compete for the starting job.

That did not end up happening and Hicks was the starter, but he continued to be a great mentor for Collins.

Now that Hicks is a member of the Minnesota Vikings, he and Collins still talk.

“Me and Jordan still talk,” Collins told reporters last week after practice. “We talk about schemes and stuff, what we see, what we wish, maybe we could do this, maybe we could do that, shouldn’t do this, should do that. Everyone’s different, but it’s all football.”

They talk about what they like and don’t like.

Hicks had a big influence on Collins professionally. Collins said that Hicks taught him how to study.

“I got to work a lot with Jordan on studying,” he said. “He actually helped me to learn how to study in an NFL way. That is the biggest thing. You can study but you have to learn to do it in a poor way. He helped me with that.”

Collins was impressed by just how smart Hicks was and is.

Given the situation Hicks was in last year, it would have been easy to slightly resent Collins or to withhold information that would help him to maintain a competitive advantage.

He didn’t.

He helped Collins. He understood that it wasn’t Collins’ fault that he was drafted to be Hicks’ replacement. He had confidence that he was still the better option on the field but mentored and helped Collins to be a better player.

The fact they still talk regularly is a good thing.

Hopefully, all Collins has learned from Hicks translates into significant playing time and playmaking in 2022.

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