Name: Nico Collins
Weight: 215 lbs.
High school: Birmingham (AL) Clay-Chalkville
Position: Wide receiver
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: 85
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