The Giants’ first-round draft pick missed a portion of training camp due to a hamstring injury and was largely overshadowed by the other receivers on the roster. However, Monday’s practice, the team’s next-to-last at training camp, was Nicks’ day to shine.
According to Giants.com, Nicks caught everything thrown to him and made two one-handed grabs that made him look like he’d been around the National Football League once or twice.
"Oh man, remarkable catch,” said quarterback Andre’ Woodson on the team’s Web site, describing one of Nicks’ one-handed grabs. “That was amazing. I think that shows right there why he was the first pick for us in the first round. He has a lot of potential, he really does. The big thing for him is learning the playbook, finding the hot [reads] and adjustments, and he'll be fine.
“But he's pretty nice to watch. To see him go up there one-handed and the defensive back really doesn't know where the ball is, he just did a wonderful job of going up there and getting it at its highest point."
Coach Tom Coughlin also was impressed.
"He probably did [have his best practice of camp] — probably three deep balls, something like that," Coughlin said. "A good time and the right time to have that happen."
For his part, Nicks is loving every minute of it.
"Every day is fun,” said Nicks, who leads the team with 64 receiving yards after two preseason contests. “This is football. A lot earlier in the practices, the hamstring [injury] came, and that was a setback. It's just a football injury, but it was a lot to think about. I was thinking too much at the beginning, and now I feel like I'm playing within the team and within the system and playing my game.”
The rookie out of North Carolina deserves credit for missing a week of camp and bouncing back so completely and effectively — especially with the pressure of being the 29th overall draft pick weighing on his shoulders. But after his performance in Monday’s practice, he’s sure to see some playing time this season.