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Nico Collins NFL Draft 2021: Scouting Report for Houston Texans WR

BR NFL Scouting DepartmentContributor IMay 1, 2021

Michigan wide receiver Nico Collins plays against Michigan State in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

HEIGHT: 6'4 1/8"

WEIGHT: 215

               

POSITIVES

—Long, tall WR with very good size.

—True weapon in the red zone. Will use his size and length to high-point throws and flashes the ability to win contested catches.

—Good hands with good catching range. Will consistently use his length and size.

—Best on vertical routes where he can get to top speed and threaten a defender's cushion.

—Flashes good strength and willingness to use size. Is able to box out CBs completely away from the ball on in-breaking routes.

                       

NEGATIVES

—Play speed slower than timed speed. Gets stuck in fourth gear and can't completely open up.

—Limited after the catch. Big and lacks the twitch to make defenders miss in tight spaces.

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—Overall a slow-twitch player who requires build-up to get to top speed due to size and long legs. Not a sharp breaker on routes and that will allow defenders to undercut throws at the next level.

—Does not consistently utilize his size when blocking. More of a shield blocker than someone who imposes their will. This lack of consistent fight also can crop up on 50/50 throws.

                

2019 STATISTICS

37 rec., 729 yds, 19.7 avg, 7 TD

                

NOTES

—Sat out 2020 season because of COVID-19.

                     

OVERALL

Nico Collins is a large outside-only WR who has the size, length and ball-winning potential to be a contributor in the red zone on Day 1. Collins had an explosive pro day, but his film does not match those testing numbers. He does show the ability to get to an adequate top-end speed and is best on intermediate and vertical routes that can get his long legs going, where he can also use his length to attack balls on the move.

Collins lacks quick-twitch in his play, and he rolls on his routes and lacks the ability to create once the ball is in his hands. Collins can bring value once the offense reaches the red zone, and he does a good job of using his size and strength to win vs. press, but his ability to separate and lack of suddenness are negatives until he adds nuance or plays more to his testing numbers.

He played in an offense that was not conducive to WR production at Michigan, so perhaps a more varied role and a quarterback willing to let him win 50/50 balls will unlock some of his height/weight/speed potential, but Collins will likely start his career as a backup and will have to show more grit in his play to work his way to more reps and a larger every-down role. 

                

GRADE: 7.3/10 (Round 4)

OVERALL RANK122/300

POSITION RANK: WR17

PRO COMPARISON: Devin Funchess

                

Written by B/R NFL Scout Nate Tice