WR, Hakeem Nicks, North Carolina
|At A Glance
|Position 1: Wide Receiver
|Projected Round: 1st-2nd
|Bench Reps: X
|20yd Split: 2.60
|Broad Jump: X
|10yd Split: 1.52
|20yd Shuttle: X
|3 Cone Drill: X
Pros: Passes the eyeball test. Good initial quickness off the snap. Good strength and lateral agility to fight through press coverage. Sneaky downfield speed. Good burst out of his breaks to generate separation, especially on slants. Rare body control for a player of his size. Can contort his body in space to make the spectacular reception. Sticky hands. Can snatch out of the air or absorb with his body when he feels an impending big hit. Knows where the sidelines, down markers and, most important, end zone are. Good height and leaping ability for the fade. Rare strength, balance and agility to turn short and intermediate catches into long gains. Good vision to cut back against the grain. Improved with each year of experience. Might just be scratching the surface of his potential.
Cons: Questionable deep speed. May lack the top-end speed to challenge defensive backs over the top, allowing savvy NFL defenders to close off the crossing routes on which Nicks generated much of his success. One of three legitimate NFL-caliber receivers for the Tar Heels, and capitalized on defenses spread thin.
From Scouting Report at Mocking the Draft:
Arguably the top route runner in this year's class, Nicks is a reliable target with very good hands. Runs crisp routes and has good quickness out of his breaks. For a receiver, Nicks has good strength. Cornerbacks have to be sound tacklers to take him down in the open field. Gives some safeties trouble when he gets a head of steam. Has good awareness of the sideline when he's up in the air. Knows how to really attack a zone. Easily locates the hole and is patient enough to sit in them until the pass arrives.
From "Scouting the Draft: Hakeem Nicks" at the Phinsider:
Hakeem Nicks, in three years at North Carolina, become one of the most prolific receivers, if not offensive players in school history. Granted it is a somewhat inconsistent football history but considering Nicks was hamstrung by a bad offense and worse coaching his freshman season, the work he did over the next two seasons was phenomenal. The junior from Charlotte had the benefit of playing beside speedster and probable 1st/2nd round pick Brandon Tate. Following Tate's injury earlier in the 2008 season, Nicks still found ways to get the ball, who ended the season with 1222 yards receiving and 12 TDs. Nicks capped off his career at UNC with a 3 TD, 232 yard performance in the Meineke Car Care Bowl against West Virginia
Scouting Reports and Offsite Links:
- A strong, physically built receiver with good body control and burst in and out of his routes. Is one of the draft’s top route runners and displays the ability to consistently separate on all levels of the field. Has strong, powerful hands and does a great job plucking the ball away from defenders in traffic. Shows a really savvy working the middle of the field and is a bear to bring down after the catch. [see more...]
- Nicks reminds me a lot of Greg Jennings coming out of college, and we see what he has become in the league. Nicks is nothing more than a No. 2 receiver, but he shows enough qualities to where I would not consider his skill set to be particularly risky. Nicks is not going to be a stat demon in the NFL, but he can find a role and excel in the right system. [see more...]
- In 2007, Nicks earned All-ACC first-team and All-American honorable mention from The NFL Draft Report. He set the school single-season record with 74 receptions, gaining 958 yards (12.9 avg) with five touchdowns. He went over 100 receiving yards three times as a sophomore and had at least five catches in 10 contests, ranking third in the league with an average of 6.17 catches and second with 79.83 yards receiving per game.
As a junior, Nicks was again named All-American honorable mention and All-ACC first-team. For the third time, he paced the Tar Heels with 68 catches, setting school single-season records with 1,222 yards (18.0 avg) and 12 touchdowns. He also picked up 34 yards and a score on six reverses and helped out on special teams, returning seven kickoffs for 134 yards (19.0 avg) to go with two solo tackles. [see more...]
- Nicks is a tough competitor that shines his brightest when the stakes are raised. Known as a gamer within the Tar Heels’ program and put forth a gutsy three year career in which he vastly improved each season. Has a natural feel for the game and seems to be mentally ahead of his opposition at all times. Possesses a strong pair of hands that pluck the ball out of the air and secure it right away. There is no wiggle to it once he has it in his hands. Makes the tough catch in traffic on all three levels of the pass defense. Does not pay too much attention to oncoming defenders from the blind side, great concentration. Runs exceptional routes, loses minimal momentum on sharp cuts, especially 180 degree comeback routes. Reads the defense with ease and finds the vacant lanes against zone. A very quarterback-friendly receiver. A threat after the catch and makes defenders miss with a combination of strength and wiggle. [see more..]
- Nicks combines some outstanding physical traits with a flair for the dramatic. He has made some college football’s most impressive catches over his career and has been a very consistent performer for UNC despite working with subpar quarterbacks at a basketball school. Nicks has some of college’s best hands and rarely drops easy catches. Despite not being a burner, Nicks has great flexibility, body control and top notch change of direction ability. He has a quick, high vertical and is strong enough to fight for the ball. After making the catch, Nicks builds to top speed in a few steps but will not run away from the defender. A little stiff in the hips and not real sudden but he can make defenders miss and is tough to bring down. He gets off the line quickly and does not hesitate to go up in a crowd. [see more...]