How many people can say that they have played with two Hall of Fame quarterbacks?
If Andrew Luck stays on his current trajectory, Hakeem Nicks can.
It was a bad ending with the New York Giants. The parties went their separate ways like a high school breakup. Avoid the other person at all costs. Because of their split, it gives Nicks the opportunity to start on a clean slate and prove himself as a top receiver in the NFL once again with Luck on his side.
A lot of people say Luck in his third year will take the jump from being the best young quarterback to becoming the best quarterback in the NFL.
Though I am not ready to proclaim that, I am ready to say that Nicks will help Luck take the next step in his development.
In his five seasons in New York, Nicks accomplished a lot.
He won a Super Bowl while leading the Giants in receiving with 10 catches and 109 yards.
In addition, Nicks had a double-digit touchdown receiving season in 2010 with 11 TD’s. As well as posting two straight back to back 1,000 yard seasons in 2010 and 2011.
During his final season with the Giants, Nicks recorded 896 yards with only 56 catches. The 16.0 yards per reception was the second highest in his career.
Nicks however never smelled the end zone, which was the first time in his career being held scoreless as a receiver. This doesn’t reflect the talent that Nicks has, instead it shows the inconsistency of his former quarterback Eli Manning. Take a look at Hakeem’s career stats:
Though I love watching Eli Manning as a player, it is not the easiest task being one of his receivers. He turns the ball over too often and takes chances away for his offense to strike. He makes blind throws as if he were Stevie Wonder and expects his pass catchers to transform into David Tyree way too often (who could forget this?).
Now Nicks is playing for the Indianapolis Colts, a team who’s future is as bright as their starting quarterback.
What Nicks is getting from Luck as a quarterback is something that he was missing from Manning, consistency.
During his rookie year to his second year Luck cut his interceptions in half from 18 to 9. Luck has the ability to read defenses well and understands how to make accurate throws consistently. Luck’s completion percentage rose from 54 to 60 percent in his second year. Entering his third year with more weapons, Luck will only get better and Hakeem Nicks will reap the benefits.
Similarly to his setup in New York, Nicks will be playing with another deadly speedster in T.Y. Hilton. The pride and joy of the FIU football program has the ability to stretch the field and has Pro Bowl talent.
Add into the mix veteran stud receiver Reggie Wayne, and the Colts could potentially have three 1,000 yard receivers on the same team. The last time the Colts did that was in 2004, when Peyton Manning (the man Luck is chasing) had Reggie Wayne with 1,210 yards, Marvin Harrison with 1,113 yards and Brandon Stokley with 1,077 yards.
The 26-year-old receiver (Nicks) will score more than one touchdown, anyone can take that to the bank.
Next season when we see Nicks have another great season, I will be somewhere singing this version of Tupac Back by Rick Ross.
“Hakeem back, Hakeem back. That’s all these people saying, that Hakeem back. All eyes on me, better picture me rolling!”
Next season should be a great year not only for Nicks, but for his legacy as a receiver.