Is Nicks that tough, physical WR that Miami is in search of?
With all this talk about Hakeem Nicks, largely due to the scouting trip Bill Parcells, Tony Sparano, and Chad Henne made this weekend to UNC, now seems like the best time for me to share a UNC fan's thoughts on him. After all, he's probably seen Nicks play much, much more than you or I have.
So I enlisted the help of Brian from the UNC blog, "Tar Heel Fan." Brian's thoughts on Nicks are below, as are some of Hakeem's numbers from the Combine and from his pro day workout.
Height: 6'0 3/4" / Weight: 212
40: 4.54 / Arm: 33 1/2" / Hand: 10 1/2"
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
Nicks is not the kind of receiver who will blow you away with his speed. While he is fast enough, Nicks greater asset is his size, especially the size of his hands. During one game the announcers indicated Nicks wore XXXXL gloves. That became fairly evident seeing him catch the ball sometimes doing it with one hand. The offensive play calling at UNC relied more on short passes of the 10-15 yard variety. Nicks excelled in this scheme, getting the ball in space and creating yards after the catch with his ability to make tough runs. Overall, the NFL team that ends up picking Nicks will get a good receiver with size and reliable hands who can turn small receptions into big gains on the run.
A big thanks to Brian from "Tar Heel Fan" for taking some time to share his thoughts with us. No doubt - Dolphin fans will be debating from now until draft day on if the Fins should take a WR in round 1; and if so, which one. Should make for an interesting 25 days between now and draft day.