Nico Collins is a divisive player at the moment. The believers still believe he will show something and use his age (24) to their advantage. While the doubters will use his injury history and stats against him. Drafted in the 3rd round in 2021, we learn every draft class that draft capital matters, but so does on field production. The capital is there so are the stats? In 24 career games he has 70 receptions 927 yards and 3 touchdowns. The best way I can describe Nico Collins is he reminds me a lot of Marvin Mims in this draft class, not by the RAS or body type, but by how people view him. If you like Mims, you like him and will die on that hill, if you don’t you let those people ramble on and let them take him. I feel Nico Collins was that same type of player coming out of Michigan.
Nico has played his two years so far in Houston and has never really had a good quarterback. (Whole other article can be written about Davis Mills.) With only Brandin Cooks the prime receiver, Collins was primed to be the WR2 and let them move on from Cooks so he could be the WR1. Injuries never really let that happen. With that being said he can still surprise us because of a few reasons.
Some reasons to buy is the signing of Robert Woods. I know, I know, Woods has disappointed us all last year, he burned me too, but hear me out. The Woods signing wasn't because they needed a receiver. They brought in Woods because they knew he can be the veteran leadership they need in that wide receiver room. Woods is the “seasoned” vet in that room and he can teach all of the wide receivers how to be a pro and that is one of the biggest reasons why this is a good thing for Collins. I believe he hasn’t had someone in the locker room to hold him accountable and Woods will do just that.
The other reason to buy is CJ Stroud. Texans fans, and all NFL fans alike, Houston finally got their quarterback. CJ Stroud was the best pocket passer coming out of the draft and landed here. Collins knows he is on the hot seat based on the other receivers on the roster (we will get to that soon) and will need to build a relationship early and often with Stroud. If the quarterback buys into what you are doing. This is the best step in the right direction. If he takes the feedback from a veteran receiver who has won a superbowl, has had injuries, and been on multiple teams; and gets reps in the offseason with the quarterback and makes him a must have. Collins could definitely become a buy.
We will start with the elephant in the room. This elephant is also the most predominant sell reason of the offseason. Nico Collins can rarely ever stay healthy. In 2022, he played 10 games and started 7 of them, and 2021 was a little better with 14 games played and 8 starts. He needs to be on the field, and the tape he has on the field, although not much, needs to have the new coaching staff buy in to him. WIth career stats of Adam Thielens worst statical year coming in the span of 2 years doesn’t help his cause.
Speaking of the new coaching staff, they didn't hesitate to bring in weapons. We have already talked about Robert Woods and with the guys that they brought/got back, Woods is the only buy for Collins. I don’t think there is any way Collins misses the team, but with the Texans getting John Metchie back into the mix, and drafting Nathaniel “Tank” Dell, (LINK Rookie Spotlight, please)(who you know I’ve loved this whole draft process), and Xavier Hutchinson.
The writing could be on the wall for Collins. Nice may end up not having a role because Metchie is an intermediate route and deep route threat. Dell is your swiss army knife and route running specialist, and Hutchinson is the possession big body receiver you would want. The new coaching staff will probably go with their draft picks and former first round pick in Metchie and let Collins walk. We didn't even mention Dalton Schultz who will also take catches away from the dwindling role Collins could have.
The fact is, Nico Collins is the definition of the Dynasty Dilemma. Find the Collins truther and get him off your team if you can, because he is aged out of most taxi squads now and the question to ask is. Is he a reliable bench player or can you find a different plug and play bye week hero? I believe you can find a new option (Marvin Mims in rookie drafts). He is a guy that I have been trying to trade for a rookie 3rd or 4th round pick to start over or just dropping all together.
In redraft formats, he will be virtually undrafted unless youre in a league deeper than a 12 teams. Otherwise, put him back on waivers and if you lose out on the one week he produces, so be it. This is one that didn’t hit, and that’s ok. That's why we have a rookie draft every year to try to find the hidden gem.
Cody Folden joined the Dynasty Pros team in 2023. He plays in many dynasty leagues but dabbles in other leagues like devy, contract, and scouting leagues. He loves to dive deep into learning about prospects coming up through college and seeing them thrive when they get to the league.