WR Nico Collins, Michigan
HOMETOWN (HIGH SCHOOL): Pinson, AL (Clay-Chalkville)
247 RATING: .9378
POSITION RANK: 13
Receiving: 78 catches, 1,388 yards (17.8 ypc), 13 touchdowns
Receiving: 37 catches, 729 yards (19.7 ypc), 7 touchdowns
Nico Collins Breakdon
Michigan Wolverines fans have waited for an explosive offense to come to Ann Arbor, and there’s still a way to go to get there. However, Jim Harbaugh’s bringing in the talent to explode, including guys like Nico Collins. While Collins hasn’t produced his best numbers, it’s mostly not his fault. More consistency at the quarterback position will not only help Collins, but the entire offense as well.
When you turn on the film for Collins, the first thing that jumps out is his size. It’s his biggest asset. At 6’4” and 222 pounds, there aren’t many receivers that can compete with him in terms of physicality. His footwork at the line won’t shake many defenders, but there aren’t many defensive backs that can slow him down even if they gets hands on him. If his quarterback puts the ball in his area, he’s most likely coming down with the catch. He knows how to use his body to shield the defender from the ball, and it’s tough for anyone to knock the ball away once he gets his hands on the ball.
As a route runner, there are some concerns. He knows how to use his size to get into a defender and then create separation, but that’s mostly on deep routes. In the short to intermediate game, he still lacks some awareness for where he is on the field, and his cuts tend to be rounded. He can win with his physicality even if a defender’s right on him, but creating more room would benefit him more. At times he’s worried about what’s waiting for him across the middle (hearing footsteps), and that can lead to some drops.
Everything about Nico Collins’ game revolves around physicality. He’s showing that he can add speed to his game, and he’s a mismatch for most defenders deep downfield. Michigan needs to add a quarterback that can utilize his talent more, because there’s no reason he shouldn’t have a 1,000 yard season. He’s too good to be wasted like that, and the Wolverines offense can take a step forward if they can truly utilize his skillset.