Drew Boylhart   1/09

Hakeem Nicks   WR   North Carolina         

 

STRENGTHS

Hakeem has excellent strength and is a very smart route runner.  He has hands so soft that dairy cows are begging him to milk them the old fashioned way.  Hakeem is one of the strongest WR's in this draft and understands how to use his body to shield the defender from intercepting the ball.  He reminds me a lot of Hines Ward (WR Steelers).  He is very dependable and will come up with the big play when his team needs him.  He is a #1 WR and will be a Pro Bowl player, core player and a fan favorite for the team that drafts him.  Hakeem is just the type of WR you build your passing game around.  He understands situational football and can read defenses as well as most QB's.  This kid is going to be one hell of a player. 

 

NEEDS TO IMPROVE

He is not the fastest WR in this draft, but we all know how speed is overrated when a player truly loves to play and knows how to play the game.  By the way, I think he is at least as fast as Larry Fitzgerald (WR Cardinals) when Larry came out in the draft as the third pick in the first round of the 2004 draft.    

  

TALENT BOARD ROUND 1

Question.  Who would you trade for right now if you had the option of Larry Fitzgerald or Hines Ward? I  would take Hines Ward.  Hakeem plays more like Hines than he does Larry because he is mentally tougher.  He is also stronger.  Hakeem looks for contact.  In fact, he initiates contact.  The kid has big, soft hands but he is still able to make contact then catch the ball.  He has good quickness and can get deep with double moves.  When he catches the ball, he is very tough to bring down.  Hakeem plays with good passion and looks on film to be a very good teammate.  He doesn't take your head off when he is blocking, but something tells me it's just a matter of time before he learns to do that just like Hines.  Hakeem, in my opinion, is a franchise player and most will rate him lower than me because he does not have that blazing speed, but I know that speed can be overrated.  Ask the Pittsburgh fans when they watch Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes!  You want speed or do you want toughness and good hands?  You must know what I think.  I call him Hakeem (Blue Velvet) Nicks because he has that steely black and blue style of play to go along with those velvet hands.  A very dangerous combination for a DB to try and cover.