Prospects

Prospects
Photo of Hakeem Nicks
Hakeem Nicks (WR)
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 212
Conference: ACC
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
High School: Independence
Featured Prospects
Selected by: New York Giants
Round: 1
Pick (Overall): 29 (29)
Discuss
Pick Analysis: The former Tar Heel is an outstanding receiver with all of the tools to be a No. 1 receiver as a pro. As a big, strong playmaker with outstanding hands, Nicks should fill in nicely for the departed Plaxico Burress in the Giants' receiving corps.
  1. Overview
  2. Analysis
Overview

The first Tar Heel underclassman to declare for the NFL Draft since defensive end Julius Peppers in 2001, Nicks left his mark in the school and Atlantic Coast Conference record books before bolting for the National Football League. He established North Carolina career records for receptions (181), receiving yards (2,840) and touchdown catches (21). He also holds the school single-season records with twelve touchdown receptions and 1,222 yards receiving in 2008, having set the single-season record for catches (74) the previous year.


Nicks' numbers also found him ranking 13th all-time in the Atlantic Coast Conference for receptions and 11th for receiving yards. Among active ACC players, his 10 100-yard receiving performances tops the league, as his 181 receptions rank second and his 2,840 yards is a league best.


Nicks was a Super Prep and EA Sports first-team All-American at Independence High School, where he was ranked the eighth-best player in North Carolina and the 22nd-best wide receiver in the country by Super Prep as a senior. He was named MVP of the Class 4-AA state championship game after leading Independence (15-0) to a 38-19 win over New Bern, coming up with eight receptions for 205 yards and two touchdowns (11 and 80 yards) in Independence's 92nd consecutive victory. He never lost a game in his high school career.


Nicks was a North Carolina Associated Press All-State and Charlotte Observer Offensive Player of the Year choice. Rivals.com rated him the state's fourth-best prospect as he received membership to North Carolina's Shrine Bowl team, where he caught a 37-yard touchdown pass among his three catches for 42 yards. In his final season, he led the state with 93 receptions for 1,819 yards and 20 touchdowns, including 10 in the playoffs. That year, he had three straight games with 10 or more catches.


As a true freshman at North Carolina, Nicks earned Freshman All-American and Freshman All-ACC first-team honors from The Sporting News. He started all 11 games he appeared in, sitting out the South Florida clash with an ankle sprain. He led the team and set school single-season records for freshman, catching 39 passes for 660 yards (16.9 avg) that included four touchdowns. His average of 60.0 yards receiving per game ranked third in the conference.


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.


High School

Attended Independence (Charlotte, N.C.) High School, playing football for head coach Tommy Knotts...Super Prep and EA Sports first-team All-American...Ranked the eighth-best player in North Carolina and the 22nd-best wide receiver in the country by Super Prep as a senior...Named MVP of the Class 4-AA state championship game after leading Independence (15-0) to a 38-19 win over New Bern, coming up with eight receptions for 205 yards and two touchdowns (11 and 80 yards) in Independence's 92nd consecutive victory. He never lost a game in his high school career...North Carolina Associated Press All-State and Charlotte Observer Offensive Player of the Year choice...Rivals.com rated him the state's fourth-best prospect as he received membership to North Carolina's Shrine Bowl team, where he caught a 37-yard touchdown pass among his three catches for 42 yards. ... In his final season, he led the state with 93 receptions for 1,819 yards and 20 touchdowns, including 10 in the playoffs...That year, he had three straight games with 10 or more catches.


Copyright NFLDraftScout.com, distributed by The Sports Xchange.

Analysis

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 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.


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.


Injury Report

2006: Sat out the South Florida game (10/18) with an ankle sprain.


2007: Missed part of the second half of the South Carolina clash (10/13) with a high ankle sprain.


Copyright NFLDraftScout.com, distributed by The Sports Xchange.

NFL News
CONTENT
15