Is Hakeem Nicks the Right Man To Fill Plaxico Burress' Shoes?

Kyle LanganAnalyst IMarch 8, 2009

With Plaxico Burress in limbo, many Giants fans have speculated as to who will be his heir apparent at the receiver position. The NFL Draft is as unpredictable as anything, but even with that said, the consensus seems to be that the New York Giants will select Hakeem Nicks.

In 2008, Nicks had 68 receptions for 1,222 yards and found the end zone 12 times in the process. While at UNC, Nicks showed a great feel for route running, displayed great ability to make people miss in the open field, and showed great concentration. He also did all of this in a pro-style offense, and showed that there is no route that he cannot run.

At only a hair over 6'0", and while weighing 212 pounds, Nicks has a build and a style of play which has been compared to that of Anquan Boldin.

The important question for the Giants to consider is this: Does he represent that same presence on the field which only the league’s best receivers possess? While he did represent that presence in college, it remains to be seen if he can provide it in the NFL.

Looking at this particular class of receivers, what makes Nicks such an intriguing prospect is that proverbial word: upside.  After displaying such a dynamic presence at UNC, Nicks seems like the best candidate to come in right away and provide it at the NFL level and further refine those skills en route to becoming a Pro Bowl player.

At this current junction in Giants history, regardless of whether or not the 32 year old Burress returns to action or not, it is important that they find their franchise quarterback a target which he can rely on for the next ten years. The importance of such a thing is evident throughout history with tandems like Jerry Rice and Joe Montana, Dan Marino and Mark Clayton, Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison.

Between 2005 and 2008, no one connected for more touchdowns than Eli Manning and Plaxico Burress. If Eli Manning is going to continue to thrive and even develop into a hall of fame candidate, he will need his other half to help him pave the way for the next decade.