Nico Collins 2021 NFL Draft Profile: Dynasty Fantasy Football Analysis & Props To Bet
Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images. Pictured: Nico Collins
Nico Collins Draft Profile
Nico Collins Draft Props
Originally when I projected Collins’ draft range, I thought Rounds 4-5. But after creating my top 100 big board, I now think he’s on the borderline of Rounds 3-4, which aligns with his long-stagnant draft stock in various mocks (per Grinding the Mocks).
I specifically have him at No. 97 on my big board, which means that he offers no value at his current over/under of 93.5 on William Hill.
Dynasty Fantasy Analysis
Collins is this year’s Donovan Peoples-Jones: A guy who went to Michigan as a hyped prospect and then got entirely Harbaughed. If everything had gone well for Collins in college, he could have been a Round 1 selection. Instead, he could slide to Day 3.
Collins has the athleticism of a premier prospect.
— Michigan Football (@UMichFootball) March 26, 2021
He has elite speed, explosiveness and agility for his size. I love his top five physical comps (per MockDraftable).
- Tee Higgins: 84.3%
- DeVante Parker: 84.2%
- Denzel Mims: 81.2%
- Travis Fulgham: 81.0%
- Marques Colston: 80.9%
Of all the receivers in this class, Collins is probably the one with the freakiest physical profile, given all of his attributes.
His athleticism translates to the field, where Collins is a big-play contested-catch artist.
Nico Collins can go up and get it! pic.twitter.com/obaGuOVxMs
— Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL) March 4, 2021
The problem with Collins is that he failed to develop as a receiver in college. He has little nuance to his game. His routes are stiff and simple, and his tree is limited. When he can bully a cornerback, Collins looks unstoppable, but against better defenders he lacks the well-rounded skill set to succeed.
And his college production was mediocre. As a freshman, he was a benchwarmer. As a sophomore, he played behind Peoples-Jones. And then as a junior he overtook Peoples-Jones but himself was overtaken by sophomore receiver Ronnie Bell. At no point in college was Collins a No. 1 receiver or a notable producer.
- 2017 (4 games): 2-27-0 receiving
- 2018 (13 games): 38-632-6 receiving
- 2019 (12 games): 37-729-7 receiving
And then he opted out of the 2020 season, for obvious reasons: 1) Head coach Jim Harbaugh, and I suppose 2) COVID.
For all his athleticism and physicality at the catch point, Collins is notably unproductive once he has the ball. On 78 receptions he had just eight broken tackles in college (per Pro Football Focus). His 4.8 yards after catch per reception is a decidedly below-average mark (per 2021 Sports Info Solutions Football Rookie Handbook).
But this class is light on big-bodied receivers with elite athleticism, and Peoples-Jones flashed enough last year as an NFL rookie to suggest that the production problems for Michigan wide receivers over the past several years might have more to do with the system and less to do with them.
With his athleticism and expected draft capital, Collins could become an NFL starter with volatile fantasy relevancy.
NFL Prospect Comp: Miles Boykin with less draft capital and college production
Matthew Freedman is 1,018-828-37 (55.1%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.