6-1/212 North Carolina
Pros: He's a big guy with nice, strong hands. He uses his size well in traffic and is a physical runner after the catch. Has good speed, quickness and is a shifty runner in open space as well. He's a capable blocker with good toughness. Does a good job attacking the ball in the air with good body control. Also has experience as a kickoff returner.
Cons: Doesn't have burner speed and won't stretch defenses vertically. At times struggles to get separation, particularly against top corners and competition. Body catches too much.
Overview: He's a big guy that fits the mold of the classic possession wideout. Struggled beating Macho Harris in the Virginia Tech game. Put on nearly 15 pounds after the Combine at his Pro day, but has since dropped the weight. That raises concerns about his work ethic. Started every year he was at UNC and saw his big play ability go to a new level as a junior. Average 19.6 yards per return on 12 career kickoffs.
NFL Forecast: He'll be a nice go-to threat at the next level, but I think it's going to take him some time to get better. He'll need to polish up his route-running because he doesn't have the ideal quickness and burst to beat NFL corners. So he's not likely to be a guy that instantly impacts. But give him a two or so years, and you could have a go-to option for some quarterback. He's a big physical guy that reminds you of Anquan Boldin and Plaxico Burress. His work ethic has been called into question because of his weight gain after the Combine, and I think that's a legitimate concern. But on his size and strength alone he still should be a solid starter. But like Burress, may start off as an inconsistent No. 2, but then eventually be able to make it as a No. 1 five or so years down the road. Like Burress there will be times he'll be a headache (although I'm not predicting the off-field issues), but he'll make up for it when he's dominating smaller corners and making big plays in the fourth quarter at key games.
ATL Forecast: Nicks would be a good fit in Atlanta because he wouldn't have to be the No. 1 guy right away with Roddy across from him. He's a physical player like Roddy, more so than Jenkins and would give the Falcons arguably the most physical pair of starters in the league. He'd be an excellent complementary player, more so than Burress was earlier in his career opposite Hines Ward.
Value: Nicks has first round potential, but because I don't think he'll start off all that strong and will take a few years to reach his potential, makes him a early to mid second round pick.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
AFTER CATCH: 4.0
BODY CONTROL: 4.5
Scouting Reports of wide receivers in the 2009 NFL draft.
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