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Reese Transcript on Nicks

Here is Jerry Reese talking about Hakeem Nicks, via

Q:  Did you get your man?


A:  We got a very good player; very good player.  We like him a lot.  He is a big, strong kid, very productive, strong body type that you like.  A lot of production.  He is a very young kid, I think he is only 20 years old.  So we feel good about picking this guy at 29.  A lot of production.

Q:  You said the other day you didn’t have a glaring need at WR.  You picked him.  Why?

A:  Well because we had a good grade on him and he was there at the right time.  We didn’t reach for anybody.  We feel good about where we picked him.  Again, he is a good football player, a lot of production – 12 touchdowns, over 1200 yards receiving, very good hands, ball skills, can absorb contact.  There are a lot of things that I like about this guy.  We are very happy to get him at 29.

Q: Can he return kicks, too?

A:  He is not a kick returner.  He probably can return kicks but he has a big, strong body, kind of reminds you, probably of the body type of Boldin.  But he is almost 6-2, he has very long arms, big hands.  So we are happy to have him.

Q:  There were some questions about his weight, some other things.  How much investigating did you do? 

A:  Well everything is over exaggerated during the draft and so much of what I call chatter and a lot of false chatter.  But he did gain some weight after the Combine.  He tweaked his hamstring so he really was down and he really couldn’t do a lot of work with the hamstring.  When you do those hamstrings you have to rest.  And then he gained some weight, got his weight back down and I don’t think that is an issue at all for us.

Q: From what you know, what kind of impact can be make?

A:  We expect him to come in and compete for a job and be a contributor in some respect.  Any time you pick a guy in the first round, you expect him to be able to come in and be able to contribute for you.  Hopefully he will be able to do that.  Again, throw him in the mix with the rest of the receivers that we have.  And we will see how quickly he can come along.

Q:  What different elements does he provide that the current receivers do not?

A:  Well he is just a good receiver.  He has got size.  He has good speed.  He is not Heyward-Bey fast, but he has good speed.  He ran 4.51 at the Combine.  So we expect him to come in and get in the mix.

Q:  How close did you come to making a trade today?

A:  We didn’t come close at all.  We talked about it a couple of times but again, to reach in the first round is just not the right thing for us to do.  We don’t want to compromise the strength of our team by reaching for guys and reaching for need too early in the first round.  I think you make mistakes when you do that.  So we felt good about where we were at 29.  We knew we would get a good player at 29.  And we are very pleased with what we got.

Q:  Some receivers took awhile to drop – was there any more of a temptation then as some guys dropped?

A:  Yeah, there were some interesting guys as they started to drop a little bit.  But again, they started to drop because receivers in the first round – it is dangerous when you go up and try to get guys in the first round.  So we thought maybe that could happen; a possibility that could happen that some of the receivers might drop.  We had good grades on several receivers and Hakeem was one of them.

Q:  Is the hamstring a lingering issue?

A:  I expect to see him at a full go.  Our trainers and doctors gave us the okay on him.  And I don’t think that will be an issue at all.

Q:  What do you say about not having a veteran No. 1 receiver on your roster?

A:  I say some guys had better step up.  That is what I will say.  It is a great opportunity for guys to step up and we look forward to seeing who will step out of the shadows.

Q:  You said that you did not come close to a trade up.  How about trading for a veteran in the last couple of days? Have you come close at all for that?

A:  No.

Q:  Are you still open to that?

A:  I’m open to everything.  We are always open.  We will leave all of our options open, too.

Q:  You got to see him up close in person.  Did he jump on your radar then?

A:  We have four veteran scouts plus Marc (Ross), who is our College Director who really liked this guy.  Jeremiah Davis goes in there and liked him a lot; Steve Verderosa as well, and Joe Collins.  Those guys are veteran scouts.  All of those guys really liked him.  He was one of the guys we had targeted.  And we felt like if he …… in our window.  We were a little worried that somebody might take him as well, because he is a talent.

Q:  Did you have him in for a workout or a visit?

A:  No, we saw enough of him.  We really didn’t need to do anything else with him.  People think it is a smoke screen when you bring guys in.  We really don’t play those games.  When we bring guys in there is a reason for it.  He really didn’t have anything for us to bring him in for.

Q:  Value vs. need.  Was this a value pick?

A:  It absolutely was a value pick.  It was a little bit of both.  So that is what we always target on.  And again if you get up there and start drafting for need you compromise the strength of your overall team and we don’t feel good about doing that kind of ‘picking for need.’  It is something that you always think about, talk about and have in the back of your mind.  But we always try to get value with our picks as well as need.  If need comes into it, that is good.  If you get a little bit of both, that is great. 

Q:  Did you have a cluster of guys?

A:  We had our first row stacked pretty good; pretty much like how they came off.  So that was – Marc and his staff did a good job getting that first row looking like how it came off pretty much for the most part. 

RE:  His ball skills.  Is this a kind of guy who plays bigger than he is?

A:  He is almost 6-2.  Again he has a very long wing span, big hands, plays big. He is one of those guys that absorb contact, hangs on to the ball, runs after the catch.  So, yeah, he plays bigger than probably his size.  But this guy is not a little guy.  This is a big, thick receiver. 

Q:  Some people say that he compares to Boldin?

A:  Yeah, I just said that.  His body type – he is more similar to Boldin than he would be Heyward-Bey or Maclin.  Maclin kind of reminds us of Mario Manningham – the kind of body type and how he looked on tape.  And obviously he was a good player as well.  We liked all of those guys that got picked.

Q:  You mentioned you were worried that somebody would take him.  Did that make you nervous?

A:  It didn’t make us nervous.  It was a concern that one of those guys could take him.  But there were other names on the board that we liked at 29 as well.  So we had four players right there that we were ready to pick.  But these four guys were right together and we thought our best interest was to pick the receiver because they all had similar grades and we think this guy is talent.

Q:  Was Ray Maualuga one of them?

A:  Could have been.

Q:  How close did you come to trading down?

A:  We didn’t come close to trading down.

Q:  Or up?

A:  Or up.  Not really.  We talked about it a little bit but we felt good about 29 – that we were going to get a good player.  Again, we had four players – we could take either one of them and we would have been happy with them – the four players.

Q:  Did his performance in the bowl game influence you in any way?

A:  No, we just try to look at the entire body of work on players.  One game doesn’t make or break him for us.  A guy could have the best game of his life or the worst game of his life.  And we just try to look at the big picture and look at the whole body of work on all of the players we try to pick.

Q:  Is it fair to say he was the only receiver in the cluster of four?

A:  He was the only receiver at that time, yes.  Correct.

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