The Wolverine

May 2021 Issue

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 39 of 67

40 THE WOLVERINE MAY 2021 BY AUSTIN FOX M ich igan h as 10 play- ers hoping to hear their names called in this year's NFL Draft, which will take place April 29-May 1 in Cleveland. The Wolverine conducted exclu- sive interviews with two of the top draft experts in the industry — CBS Sports' Chris Trapasso and TheAth-'s Dane Brugler — to get their thoughts on the strengths and weaknesses of each U-M prospect and their potential landing spots. WIDE RECEIVER NICO COLLINS Brugler: "I think he has a good chance to sneak into the top 100 picks and be a day-two selection [which features the second and third rounds]. Collins is a big target at 6-4, 215 pounds, but doesn't necessarily have the production that jumps out at you. His production as a sopho- more and junior showed that he was progressing and climbing, and it felt like his senior year was going to be when he'd take off. "The pandemic disrupted that, and we're missing an entire year of film for him. The talent makes him a guy teams will want to work with. He tested great at Michigan's pro day, running a 4.43 at 215 pounds. He also ran a 6.71 in his three-cone drill and that's fantastic. Teams look for height, weight and speed in guys in the third and fourth round, and he's not the most sudden receiver in that regard — he's not uncoverable. "Collins wins matchups downfield, though, and is a smooth route runner, which will help him push for starting reps in the NFL. He'll be a good value pick in the third or fourth round." Trapasso: "I'm leaning toward him going on the end of the second day, maybe in the second round. He's one of the few big targets at receiver in this draft. Collins has some wiggle and can get open, as we saw at the Senior Bowl. He's good after the catch because he's such a horse to bring down, and he can go up and make contested catches. "In a draft class that has a lot of small, speedy receivers, Collins is a vertical threat with size, rebound- ing skills and is a good athlete for his height. There will be teams who want a vertical threat who may not be a 4.3 [40-yard dash] guy, but in- stead has the size and ability to take a lid off a defense. The third round is where he should be picked, and I think it's where he'll ultimately go." TIGHT END NICK EUBANKS Brugler: "He worked out well at his pro day. Tight ends who run in the 4.6 range in the 40-yard dash and have size like him [6-4, 245] will have a chance to get drafted. If he doesn't, he'll be a priority free agent for a team and get scooped up quickly. "Eubanks will have a chance to do something in a team's training camp. It'd be good if he got better as a blocker and that would help him stick on a roster. He had just 45 career catches and his stats aren't great, but he was underutilized at Michigan — there's more he can show. He's a guy who can be brought in by a team who thinks they can get more out of him." Trapasso: "I actually liked his film after watching him. There are one or two elite prospects at tight end in the NFL Draft, and then it gets hard to find guys at the spot who can really separate and are difference makers. "I think Eubanks has enough smoothness running routes and cre- ating after the catch for a team to take a chance on him. They'll real- ize they're not getting [San Francisco 49ers tight end] George Kittle, [Kan- sas City Chiefs tight end] Travis Kelce or [Florida tight end] Kyle Pitts, but they could see Eubanks as a second or TOP OF THE LINE U-M's NFL Draft Hopefuls Feature Two Possible First-Rounders In Defensive End Kwity Paye And Offensive Tackle Jalen Mayfield's Dane Brugler assessed wide receiver Nico Collins as "a good value pick in the third or fourth round." PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolverine - May 2021 Issue