Photo of Hakeem Nicks
  • 4.63 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 36.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 6'1" Height
  • 212LBS. Weight


After earning multiple high school All-American honors, Nicks did not disappoint Tar Heel fans during his three seasons as a starter. He quickly established himself as a prospect NFL scouts had to keep an eye on, catching 113 balls for 1,618 yards and nine touchdowns in his first two seasons.

Nicks took his play to another level as a junior, however. A first-team All-ACC selection, Nicks snared 68 passes for 1,222 yards and 12 touchdowns, with many of them coming dramatically. The strength and athleticism he displayed with eight receptions for 217 yards and three touchdowns against West Virginia in the Meineke Car Care Bowl helped him turn in arguably the most memorable performance of the 2008-09 bowl season.

Hicks may lack elite stopwatch speed, but NFL scouts would do well to remember that so too did Anquan Boldin and Chad Johnson. Had an arm span of 33 1/2 inches and a hand span of 10 1/2 inches at the combine.



Positives: 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 importantly, 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. Negatives: 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.
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.