Mack Hollins has been underestimated over his entire football career. The silver lining is, of course, that you are always able to surprise those around you. In just a few weeks, the NFL Draft will take place, and we will see what becomes of many North Carolina alumni. What can we expect from Mack Hollins?
Despite his impressive size, Hollins was under recruited when he joined the Tar Heels as a walk-on and redshirted for the 2012 season. The next year he contributed on special teams and nearly left the program before an All-ACC mention got him a scholarship. In 2014, the wide receiver averaged 17.5 yards per reception with 613 yards in all. 2015 proved to be even better when he averaged a nation-leading 24.8 yards per reception with 745 yards in all.
2016 was supposed to be his big year, coming in as a senior and finally unleashing everything he has always been capable of as a premiere starter in the ACC. Unfortunately, after just 19.3 yards per reception and 309 yards total, his season came to an early end after only seven games. In UNC’s 20-13 win over Miami in October, Hollins made one of his trademark deep catches, only to fall hard to the ground and break his collarbone. The injury required surgery and cost him the remainder of his college career.
In total, Hollins caught 81 passes for 1,667 yards and scored 20 touchdowns. He leaves campus with the third-most touchdown catches in program history behind only Quinshad Davis and Hakeem Nicks. Though his career ended on one of the worst notes possible, he still left his mark on a team that won’t soon be forgotten. You just have to hope that teams let scouting take over from what raw numbers were unable to tell.
Despite the bad luck, Hollins continued to surprise. He ran a 4.53 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine in a performance that should make teams take a second glance at him. After all, at six-foot-four and 221 pounds, most organizations will be lined up to take a chance on such a big frame and wide wingspan. NFL.com even takes note of his surprising speed and agility, despite his length. It also makes him a legitimate deep threat, able to come down with high throws, especially in the endzone. If you remember, those were his speciality at North Carolina. That being said, scouts still see him as a very raw product who lacks the route versatility they like to see.
Hollins is expected to be a Day Three pick, going in rounds six or seven, if at all. NFL.com gives him a 5.5 grade, which they equate to a backup or eventual starter. Walter Football ranks him as the no. 41 wide receiver for the upcoming NFL Draft. In the end, NFL.com says Hollins has height, weight, speed, and special teams abilities going for him when it comes to draft day. While he is certainly skilled as a receiver, teams will look to his special teams experience first when considering whether to draft him or not. That experience will give him the opportunity to surprise again and hopefully land him a regular receiving job.