HOUSTON – Whenever a rookie can move from the college ranks to the pros in the blink of an eye, they’re going to grab attention. Two weeks at the Houston Texans and Nico Collins training camp is the topic of conversation.
Collins, the Michigan team’s third-round pick, continues to splash daily. The 6-foot-4 receiver has only shown growth in route running, understanding covers, and catching the ball at its highest point.
Still young and a lot could change if he competes against another team, early signs suggest that he will be in the running for first-team reps in Week 1 against Jacksonville. Houston added eight receivers this off-season, with Collins and former Jaguars starter Chris Conley likely battling Will Fuller’s old place.
CONTINUE READING: New Texans WR Anthony Miller: “I can do anything”
Texas cornerback Bradley Roby may not like Collins’ alma mater, but he’s glad he only has to face him in practice during the season, not on Sundays.
“He’s a Michigan guy, man, so I don’t like him right now,” said Roby, an Ohio State alum, on Wednesday. “But I think he’ll be a good recipient. He’s tall, tall, uses his body well, can go up and get the ball. So I just want to keep motivating him and keep working with him, trying to figure out where I can really compete against him, to see how he goes his routes and to help him if possible. So I’m looking forward to helping him mature. “
Defensive backs aren’t the only names that get this attention. Veteran Wideout and all-pro returner Andre Roberts praised the £ 215 goal for its adaptability to learn a new offensive.
“Nico is a really good athlete,” said Roberts on Friday. “He’ll be special when he gets it together. He’s coming to a new team, a new area, a new offensive, so this guy has a lot to learn. But he’s a really good athlete and when he keeps his head down he becomes special. “
CONTINUE READING: Texans Camp Notebook: Keke Coutees Mentor? Dez Bryant
Conley, Collins and Roberts work further out. Texas coach David Culley was keen to keep the defense busy with his formations. Several times, Collins has actually done reps within the slot, possibly competing for game time with veterans Anthony Miller and Keke Coutee.
Mostly known for his kickoff skills in Buffalo, Roberts says it is his role to be the voice of sanity for the younger passport catcher. So far he has developed a relationship with Collins and Miller.
“I talk to Nico a lot. He’s a drafted player,” said Roberts. “And Anthony is coming here right now. Talk a lot to these guys about just being a pro, but they will understand. You will come with me. “
Collins opted out last fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In his previous two seasons under Jim Harbaugh at Ann Arbor, he recorded 1,361 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Fans and teammates are starting to notice how dynamic Collins can be on the next level. That, plus time to study, could make Nick Caserio’s decision to advance in the draft a wise one.
Coutee said, “Nico, big strong guy who is capable of going up on catch and making hard catches, big guy, brings a lot to this team.”
CONTINUE READING: Texan Owens reveals “Sick for Simone” feeling of Olympic drama