Associated Press

PRO 2021 Rookie Spotlight: Nico Collins, WR Michigan

Rookie Spotlight: Nico Collins, Michigan
Height: 6’ 4 1/8″
Weight: 215 lbs
Hands: 9 3/8”
Arm: 32 1/2″
40 yard dash: 4.5
NFL Comparison: Mike Williams, Kenny Golladay

– 50/50 ball specialist
– gets to top speed quickly
– prototypical X receiver size
– tracks the ball well
– excellent body control for his size
– solid blocker

– even though he gets to top speed quickly, his top speed isn’t that fast
– inconsistent hands
– never had a true breakout season in college
– lacks polish on routes
– doesn’t separate well outside of winning with physicality

College Production Score: .22

2020 Market Share Team Receptions: 16%
2020 Market Share Team Receiving Yards: 22%
2020 Market Share Team Receiving TDs: 28%

Scouting Notes: Collins is a big-bodied, bully of a receiver who plays up to his size. The 6’4” athlete uses his full frame and vertical explosion to high point the ball and out-muscle most defenders he comes across. He’s the kind of guy you can throw the ball downfield to, and he’ll come down with it if it’s anywhere in his vicinity. A 4-star recruit out of high school, Collins didn’t get much action his first year at Michigan, but his sophomore and junior seasons were solid, if not exceptional – His 19.7 yards per catch in 2019 led the Big 10 and brought him Offensive Player of the Year honors at Michigan. Collins’ physical prowess and adroit footwork ensures he doesn’t get bodied up in the press, and once he’s past his defender, he’s got a good enough burst to get downfield, though he doesn’t play with anything close to blistering speed. Collins tracks the ball well in the air and he uses surprising body control to adjust to poorly thrown balls, of which he has seen many in Ann Arbor. As good of a contested catch receiver as he is, Collins’ hands can be otherwise inconsistent. He needs to work on his concentration when he’s not fighting for the ball. Unrefined as a route-runner, Collins can also use work on polishing his technique. His size and decent long speed has allowed him to avoid necessitating the more technical aspects of his game, but he’s going to need to sharpen his routes if he wants to flourish in the NFL. As a blocker, Collins is effective and willing, traits that will translate well at the next level.

Fantasy Outlook: Collins projects to be a much better player in the NFL than he was in college, and for that reason he could crack the top 75 draft picks in April if his testing is explosive. All of the things he needs work on can be improved, and he has the physical attributes that will separate him from other receivers, if he lands in the right system. Collins needs to be the a cog of a vertical passing attack similar to Mike Williams with the Chargers. He’s worth a late-second or third-round pick in dynasty rookie drafts, as he could attain fantasy stud-level status in a couple of years as someone’s go-to downfield and in the red-zone.

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