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More On Nicks

NY Daily News has more on the Nicks pick:

There were a few frayed nerves in the war room when the Philadelphia Eagles traded up and took a receiver at 19 in the NFL draft today. And even Tom Coughlin admitted the phones were ringing as the Giants had their fingers crossed nobody would ruin their plans and take Hakeem Nicks off the board.

“That was a distinct possibility,” Coughlin said. “Probably from 20 on down that was something that could have happened. Fortunately it didn’t.”

Instead, the 6-2, 212-pound Nicks dropped into the waiting arms of the Giants at the 29th pick of the NFL draft. And both Coughlin and GM Jerry Reese seemed thrilled they got a big, physical and dangerous receiver, who filled an obvious and glaring need.

“Obviously it was a position of need,” Coughlin said. “But we weren’t going to reach for a receiver.”

“We didn’t come close at all (to moving up),” Reese said. “We talked about it a couple of times, but to reach in the first round is not something we wanted to do. We didn’t want to compromise the strength of our team for need in the first round. Mistakes are made when you do that.”

Nicks wasn’t the Giants’ top target in the draft, but he was the guy they had always targeted if they stayed at No. 29. Their first option was to trade up for Maryland receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, but he shockingly went to the Raiders at No. 7. They did give some consideration to moving up for Missouri’s Jeremy Maclin when he started falling, but the price for that jump turned out to be too high, too.

Instead, they stayed put and got a guy Coughlin called a “big, strong receiver”. Reese said he’s “got a very long wingspan and big hands, and he plays big.” The GM also added “He’s not Heyward-Bey fast, but he’s got good speed.”

Nicks, who said his hamstring is fine and who expects to be ready to go in the Giants’ rookie mini-camp in two weeks, will be asked to step right into the Giants’ lineup and have as big an impact as he possibly can

“You’re certainly going to hope that he can,” Coughlin said. “He’s certainly going to have that opportunity.”

What the Giants don’t want him to be – or at least to be considered – is the replacement for Burress. That, they believe, is far too much pressure to put on the young man.

“I think that is (too much pressure),” Coughlin said. “He is his own man. We’re not into comparing players. His ability level is very high. Let’s let him be who he is and I think he’ll do very well.”

“I just want to get in the program and find my role and be able to contribute the best way possible,” Nicks said. “I’m Hakeem Nicks and I want to get there and prove I have talent and can play in the NFL.”

***

For the record, Reese said the Giants were never close to trading up in the first round and they weren’t close to making a trade for a first-round receiver. Asked if that’s something he could still do before the day is over, Reese said “I’m open to everything.”

For what it’s worth, a source said that the phone call Reese planned to make to Cleveland about Braylon Edwards was likely to come after the first round was over – at which point the Browns would obviously have to stop asking for the Giants’ first-round pick.

***

Reese also said that when the Giants decided to stay put at 29 they had a group of four players they were considering. He declined to name the players, but said Nicks was the only receiver left in that group.


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