New York Giants 2011: Why Hakeem Nicks Should Be Considered an Elite Receiver

Matthew Wolfe@@DatDudeMKWCorrespondent IIIJuly 7, 2011

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 14:  Hakeem Nicks #88 of the New York Giants reacts against the Dallas Cowboys on November 14, 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Cowboys defeated the Giants 33-20.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Hakeem Nicks isn’t the first name that comes to mind when thinking of elite wide receivers in the NFL, but he should definitely be up there.

The third-year player out of North Carolina is an up-and-coming star, and NFL fans will know that soon enough. 

The New York Giants drafted Nicks with the 29th overall pick in 2009 in hopes that he would replace former receiver Plaxico Burress, and he has done an above-average job so far.

The flashy wideout was most well known for his amazing through the legs catch in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in 2008, but it is now safe to say he is known for being an established NFL receiver.

In a league where rookie wide receivers don’t usually tend to succeed, Nicks made the transition look easy by recording 790 yards receiving and hauling in six touchdowns in his inaugural season.

The former Tar Heel did not suffer from the famous sophomore slump—in fact, he did the opposite by taking his game to a whole new level.

Despite playing in just 13 games in 2010, Hakeem Nicks was on the receiving end of 79 balls, 11 of which were for touchdowns, tying him for fourth in the league.

Many considered Nicks a Pro Bowl snub, but judging by his pattern of improvement, his ticket to Hawaii will be punched soon enough.

If he can stay on the field, Hakeem Nicks has the potential to be a top-five NFL receiver in the coming years, which is excellent news for G-Men fans.

Look for Nicks to go off the board early in fantasy leagues this year and for many years to come.