Former Michigan wide receiver Nico Collins enters the 2021 NFL Draft process after having opted out of the 2020 college football season. That was a decision made due to uncertainty around the status of the college schedule amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic—Collins wanted to be as productive with his time as possible, so he began advanced training for the NFL Scouting Combine. On the field, Collins is a big-play threat vertically down the field that pairs very good vertical speed with excellent ball skills. There’s little question upon a deep dive of Collins’ tape that he was not done any favors by the Wolverines' passing game during his tenure with the team—his college quarterbacks failed to really take advantage of the mismatch he presents on the boundary and the Wolverines’ team identity wasn’t rooted in feeding their receivers the football. All that does is make Collins a major breakout candidate and someone I expect will be a much better professional player than a collegiate one. Collins has overwhelming size and the second gear needed to consistently stack defensive backs; projecting him into a vertical passing offense would make the most sense in trying to find an ideal role. Collins isn’t the most well-rounded wide receiver and because of that he may take some time to fully flesh out the rest of the game, but he has a trump card and translatable traits that should carve him an immediate role in the NFL. Just how big that is will likely depend on the rest of the wide receiver room he lands in.
Ideal Role: X-receiver, developmental starter.
Scheme Fit: Vertical passing offense.
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