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2021 NFL Draft Profile: What Michigan WR Nico Collins brings to the Houston Texans

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Will Collins come off the board in the second round?

NCAA Football: Western Michigan at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Former Michigan wide receiver Nico Collins decided to opt out of the 2020 season but helped his draft stock by a solid week at the Senior Bowl this January. Collins’ NFL dreams were realized when the Houston Texans selected him in the third round.

Here’s a look at Collins’ background, and what he might bring to the NFL.

Info

Height/Weight: 6-foot-4, 215 pounds

School: Michigan

Position: Wide Receiver

Projected: Late 2nd-3rd

Pro Day Results

  • Bench Press lbs: 14
  • Vertical Jump: 37.5
  • Broad Jump 10’5 3/4”
  • 40-yard Dash: 4.43
  • 3 Cone Drill: 6.71

Strengths

  • Big bodied-target at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds that’s able to box out defenders and get vertical with authority.
  • Tall, strong, but just as important — fast. His 4.43 40-yard dash is indicative of Collins’ ability to stretch the field along the boundary and on slants and mesh concepts as well. 18.2 yards per catch at Michigan and 13 TDs.
  • Fiery player. Passionate. Stuck up for his teammates and head coach Jim Harbaugh despite not being there for the 2020 season.
  • Good and reliable hands that are usually ready to grab the ball as opposed to letting the ball hit his chest.
  • Able to shed man coverage and out-muscle most cornerbacks
  • Takes pride as a blocker
  • Has different gears to his acceleration which help him get open downfield during the nuance of his route
  • Solid deep-ball tracking

Weaknesses

  • Route running is still a bit stiff on comebacks and curls
  • Needs to get a little more shifty with his feet to gain separation
  • Definitely raw. Route tree included.

Overview

Collins had a productive career at Michigan and was a reliable option in the passing game along with being U-M’s best deep threat. However, he’s still raw, which will put him towards the tail end of the second round at the earliest. All it takes is Collin’s having one team who loves his potential and decides to draft him sooner than later. Mel Kiper noted that he likes Collins’ “power-forward mentality”, and that’s spot on. Collins is ready to use his muscle, his leverage, and willing to take a hit. Collins toughness and size should give him an extended look in the NFL.

Whether Collins blossoms into a reliable NFL receiver remains to be seen, but the potential was always there at Michigan. Nico Collins is an athlete, he’s a strong, fast, and tall human that has a penchant for catching the football. A lot of prospects get drafted who can’t even catch the football or don’t even utilize the proper form and let passes bounce off their chest far too often — those weaknesses do not apply to Collins. He can catch, even in real tight and contested windows. Seeing him succeed on Sundays would be no surprise. But like any other prospect, he has his work cut out for him.