2020 Season Countdown: #5 Nico Collins

2020 Season Countdown: #5 Nico Collins

October 18, 2020
Nico Collins (image via Detroit News)

Name: Nico Collins
215 lbs.
High school: 
Birmingham (AL) Clay-Chalkville
Wide receiver
Jersey number: 
#4 #1
Last year: 
I ranked Collins #7 and said he would be a starting wide receiver with 60 catches for 990 yards and 10 touchdowns (LINK). He caught 37 passes for 729 yards and 7 touchdowns.
TTB Rating:

Going into the 2019 season, I thought Collins would become the alpha of the wide receivers and lead the team in all categories, including receptions, yards, and touchdowns. While he did lead in touchdowns, he was second in receptions and yards behind slot receiver Ronnie Bell. He was a big-play guy with a Big Ten-leading 19.7 yards per reception.

I have long been questioning Michigan’s wide receiver production, and Collins’s was no exception. In three years where he averaged 17.8 yards per catch for his career, he topped 100 yards in a game just once (6 catches for 165 yards and 3 touchdowns against Indiana in 2019).

Collins was given the #1 jersey going into the season, but it doesn’t matter because he opted out of playing in 2020. Instead, he will enter the NFL Draft, despite the fact that it’s a deep wide receiver class and, in my opinion, he has little hope of going in the first round.

Collins will be missed. I think a good argument could be made for moving him higher in the countdown. He’s 6’4″ and reportedly ran a 4.46 this off-season (even though I never trust the times that come out of Michigan). He’s legitimately one of the best receivers in the Big Ten, and the Wolverines will be without his services. They have no other size mismatches and will instead have to rely on the speed of some young guys, along with the basketball instincts of Ronnie Bell.

Prediction: Will enter 2021 NFL Draft


  1. Comments: 5
    Joined: 9/10/2020
    Oct 18, 2020 at 12:05 PM

    Wish we had Nico back. I do think he has great straight line speed and 4.45 -4.55 speed is probably his 40 time. He ran away a few times last year from people I think he takes a little longer to get to top speed then others but when he gets going he is fast. Hopefully CJ can be a mismatch of All we need some hieght on the field in the reasons. I thought I read All was more like Jimbo WR but with the ability to block very well.

  2. Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Oct 18, 2020 at 5:33 PM

    You can understand Nico making the decision from a perspective of health and wealth but it’s disappointing as a fan. I’m definitely bummed about not getting to watch him play this year. Having a big downfield threat like that is fun and can bail out a struggling offense too. With all the turnover on the OL and QB it’s likely to be needed.

    Oh well, we’re going to have to hope some of the speed (Wilson?) translates to getting open deep downfield with a QB who can get the ball there, or maybe one of the taller guys like All or Johnson busts out. There should be plenty of opportunity in a Gattis offense for everyone.

  3. Comments: 20
    Joined: 6/19/2020
    Oct 18, 2020 at 6:57 PM

    He’s relegating himself to a day 3 draft pick with his decision not to play. He didn’t have nearly enough production last year to merit anything higher. The drops will hurt him as well. Also, that reported 40 time is certainly fake. We’ve seen him run many times before; he’s not 4.4 fast. I’d wager he’ll run a 4.57 +/- .05 in the combine.

    • Comments: 3845
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Oct 19, 2020 at 9:11 PM

      I don’t think Collins will drop to day three. I think he will go in round two or three. He might not be a true blazer, but he’s still 6’4″ and 220 lbs. with an ability to outjump/outmuscle most defensive backs. If Kenny Golladay can be a third round pick at 6’4″, 218 lbs. with a 4.5 forty, I think Collins can be, too.

    • Comments: 6285
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Oct 20, 2020 at 11:44 AM

      In regard to the draft I think NCAA production is far less important than physical ability. Collins has shown enough on tape over 3 years to demonstrate his skills and potential. He consistently gets balls in traffic which not every big WR can say (contrast with say DPJ). All that matters now is the 40 time. Your guess there seems pretty accurate to me.

      Looking purely at draft position he has more to lose than gain by playing a 4th year. Setting aside Covid-related issues entirely, he is making a wise business decision. Even if we don’t like it.

      If I was to make an argument for playing it would be about the college football experience, the potential lifetime legacy in Ann Arbor and to the worldwide alumni base, and the fun of being a go-to receiver in a Gattis offense with Milton at QB. I almost said a chance to beat OSU but… that might not help make the case. Without fans packing the stands and a weird compressed season you can see why this is a tough sell when weighed against financial realities and potential injury.

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