Nico Collins - WR, Michigan
By the numbers:
6'4", 215 pounds per pro day measurements.
Opted out of the 2020 season.
2019: 37 receptions for 729 yards and seven touchdowns in 12 games played.
Nico Collins' ability to thrive as a vertical threat is NFL-ready. He's a build-up runner with very good top-end speed and is a long strider as he makes his way downfield. He has tremendous size for a wide receiver and high-points the football before coming down with it and exercising plus body control. For teams that like to take deep shots, Collins is a perfect fit.
Physicality is another thing Collins brings to the table. He's strong at the line of scrimmage and stacks opposing cornerbacks with ease. He boxes out for position and should make plenty of contested catches at the next level. He hauls in the ball with strength in his hands and plays every bit of the 215 pounds he measured at during Michigan's pro day.
Agility and short-area quickness are both question marks with Collins as he enters the NFL. He wastes steps at the line and needs to clean up his footwork in order to guarantee an efficient foundation for his stem. He also rounds out some of his breaks, which raises concerns about his ability to get in and out of them with fluidity. With that said, Collins' agility testing was promising this year and he looked better on tape from Senior Bowl week.
Collins wasn't always given opportunities to showcase a vast array of skills at Michigan. He was underutilized and while that presents a possibility that his best football is ahead of him, it also comes with a fair amount of uncertainty. When adding in the fact that he didn't play in 2020, it's easy to see why there's some hesitation about Collins. He very well may become a complete receiver one day, but his collegiate portfolio wasn't extremely diverse (and not all of that blame goes on him).
How Collins fits with the Chiefs:
The Chiefs' current depth at wide receiver is serviceable, but that's assuming they add another piece. As things currently stand, Demarcus Robinson is the team's starting X receiver (X-WR). That is far less than ideal, so adding one more weapon is paramount. Collins is far from a finished product, although he would present the Chiefs with an elite vertical threat and a developmental prospect. The rest of his value depends on his ability to create and maintain separation, in addition to running a complete route tree.
Collins has size and downfield receiving ability that gives him a definite floor in the NFL. His ability to find soft spots in zone, win on underneath routes and develop as a player will determine whether he reaches his immense potential. He looked like an improved player in Mobile and would be an intriguing selection for the Chiefs. Collins grades out as a fourth-round pick who's worth a home run swing because he may have been held back in college. It could take a year for that to be revealed, though.