Texans: Is Nico Collins ‘1B’ to Brandin Cooks?

(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) /

Texans head coach Lovie Smith says Nico Collins is “perfect complement to Brandin Cooks.” Do you agree?

The Nico Collins hype train has begun for the Houston Texans wide receiver, so get on it fast because it will be exciting. Collins has the frame that offensive minds dream of having on their team. Standing 6’4″ with an insane catch radius, and the ability to rip the ball out of the air, it is something that few receivers provide, but Collins is all that and more.

Since Houston drafted him from the University of Michigan, I have been pounding the drum for Collins. The Texans needed a big receiver since the departure of Andre Johnson following the 2014 season, and Collins is that player.

We know Collins is physically gifted, but can he be the second option to current No. 1 wide receiver Brandin Cooks, or even better?

If you are following training camp for the Texans, there is one name we keep hearing and highlighted, Nico Collins.

In training camp, he had an insane catch over defensive back Steven Nelson, where Collins ran a great route, and even though Nelson had great coverage, Collins got up and still caught the touchdown pass.

Texans WR Nico Collins can be a huge asset to offense in 2022

ESPN reporter DJ Bien-Aime for the Texans wrote this about the wide receiver:

"“Nico Collins is having a day. He just went up top on Steven Nelson on a fade ball from Mills for a TD. Steven has great coverage. Nico made a better catch.”"

Coach Lovie Smith second that by praising rookie Nico Collins saying, ‘perfect complement to Brandin Cooks,’ per Aaron Wilson.

Even if he didn’t have the best rookie campaign, Collins was entering a difficult situation. He had a juggle two quarterbacks between veteran Tyrod Taylor and third-round rookie Davis Mills, who eventually took over the starting position, and that is when Collins found his groove.

Collins recorded only one touchdown and just over 450 receiving yards in 2021 as a rookie, so can we expect a significant increase in those stats?

If Collins can become the ‘1B’ at receiver to Houston’s offense, we need to see a considerable improvement. Collins needs to address his ability to break away from the defender, and so far in camp, we have seen just that. If Collins can utilize his physicality more, we will see a defender that will be difficult to stop.

Davis Mills was quoted via Twitter by Aaron Wilson saying the following:

"“Because of his (Nico Collins) size and athletic ability, I don’t think there’s many who can jump with him.”"

The high praise and trust in Collins from his quarterback will lead to a much-improved sophomore season.

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If Collins were to become the “1B” to Cooks, he must have around 1,000 receiving yards and a massive uptick in touchdowns. Collins can do just that. He will be the red zone target for Mills, and his physical ability will allow him to jump over most defenders covering him.