Michigan: Nico Collins
With the 152nd pick overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select receiver Nico Collins from the Michigan Wolverines.
As explained on the previous slide, the Detroit Lions have an immediate need at the receiver position. With the salary cap expected to decrease to $175 million, building through the draft will become even more vital than usual.
After adding quarterback Jared Goff’s huge cap hit for the next two seasons, the Lions will enter the offseason with about $1 million in free cap space. GM Brad Holmes will be looking to shed cap space to save enough money to fill out the 2021 roster.
That being said, understanding the only rostered receiver is likely Cephus, Detroit has a real need here. We’ve drafted Marlon Williams with the previous pick and Collins here back-to-back in an effort to revamp the position.
Collins opted out of the season after the Big Ten canceled or postponed their regular season. The league eventually opted to return to play in the Fall, but Collins decided to continue preparing for the NFL Draft.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound pass-catcher failed to reach his full potential with Shea Patterson under center for the Wolverines. Patterson proved to be an erratic, inaccurate thrower.
Collins earned an overall grade of 73.0 in 2018 from PFF, making 38 receptions totaling 633 yards and six scores. He followed that up with 729 yards and seven touchdowns in 2019 as a junior, earning a 70.9 grade.
There is a real chance Collins will remain on the board here in the fifth-round. Don’t forget just a year ago, Wolverines receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones, a former top recruit, was not selected until the sixth round of the draft, 187th overall by the Cleveland Browns.
Harbaugh, with Patterson’s help, really diminished these talented receiver’s draft value. Collins is someone Holmes’ and the Lions need to take a flier on.
Pro Football Focus Draft Grade: B