One guy who's name has popped up repeatedly here is UNC wide receiver Hakeem Nicks. He first popped up on people's radars after a huge performance at the Meineke Car Care Bowl. More notably was this catch.
Nicks has been hanging around the end of the first round and beginning of the second round in many mock drafts, but this week might drop him a bit. The possible 11 on his Wonderlic test certainly can't be a good thing. However, more importantly is the story that he's gained upwards of 14 pounds since the Combine.
According to Pro Football Talk, since tweaking his hamstring at the Combine (not something I'd heard about), Nicks has been unable to work out, thus causing the weight gain. PFT also says "they've been told" that Nicks has already lost much of it in preparation for private workouts.
One scout at the UNC Pro Day seemed to think Nicks had to have a weight problem and looked more like a fat tight end than a lean wide receiver. If he's already lost a good chunk of that weight though, I don't see that big a problem. I suppose maybe he over-ate while he was on the shelf, but even still, if the weights gone, what's the big deal? I suppose the one negative could be a lack of discipline when it comes to this sort of thing.
The problem for Nicks is that this will follow him around for the next month until the draft. If he puts together some good private workouts, I'd like to think people will forget about it pretty quickly. As the saying goes, it only takes one team to prevent you from sliding down the draft board.
The problem for the 49ers is that I'd be a bit surprised if Nicks is around for their 11th pick of the second round. In their dual mock from two weeks ago, Kiper and McShay were projecting Nicks to the Vikings at 22 and the Titans at 30, respectively. If you're the 49ers and this is a guy you want (which isn't necessarily the case), do you try and move down from #10? If you're not sold on one of the outside linebackers up there maybe you do.
I am still enamored with a guy like Hakeem Nicks. Assuming he doesn't have weight problems he could be a very good receiver in the NFL. At the same time, the 49ers have a batch of young receivers looking to break through and holes on both sides of the line to fill. If you traded down and snagged a pair of first rounders, maybe you make the move for Nicks. If he slides to your second round pick, maybe you grab Nicks. Otherwise, you might as well wait for one of the less heralded receivers. What do you think?