He did so among his peers as well and was voted No. 90 by current players in NFL Network’s “Top 100: Players of 2012.” Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco held the No. 90 spot last year.
Absent from the list in 2011, Nicks went on to post a career-high 1,192 yards with seven touchdowns on 76 catches during the Super Bowl campaign. He set a personal record of 162 yards in a Week 4 victory over the Arizona Cardinals, including the go-ahead touchdown with less than three minutes remaining in the game.
Arizona safeties Adrian Wilson and Rashad Johnson were on the field that afternoon. So they made a great fit to be interviewed in Wednesday night's installment, which unveiled numbers 90-81.
“His catch radius I think is probably up there top two or three,” Wilson, a five-time Pro Bowler and fellow North Carolina native, said. “Being able to catch every ball in his area…he put himself right up there with the top five receivers in this league in just being able to do the things that he did after the catch.
“He’s not a little guy so to be able to take your shot on him, you have to make sure you wrap him up and make sure you have to hit him in the right area.”
After the Arizona game, Nicks broke his single-game record two more times – 163 yards at Dallas in Week 14 and again in the divisional round of the playoffs with 165 yards at Green Bay. In four postseason games, Nicks had 28 catches for 444 and four touchdowns, including 10 receptions for 109 yards in Super Bowl XLVI.
“Being a physical receiver, he’s a big guy, big hands,” Johnson said in the show. “He can do everything. He’s a possession guy. He’s not afraid to go across the middle. He can stretch the field as well.
“I remember particularly against Green Bay he caught a pass over the middle and got hit. They couldn’t wrap up and he was able to run it in for a touchdown.”
Wednesday night was the second installment of this year’s poll, which reveals another 10 each week. Here’s a look at where we are so far:
100. RB Chris Johnson, Titans
99. C Ryan Kalil, Panthers
98. RB Willis McGahee, Broncos
97. OT Donald Penn, Buccaneers
96. LB D’Qwell Jackson, Browns
95. QB Tim Tebow, Jets
94. RB Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks
93. CB Cortland Finnegan, Rams
92. FB John Kuhn, Packers
91. QB Tony Romo, Cowboys
90. WR Hakeem Nicks, Giants
89. DE Dwight Freeney, Colts
88. RB Michael Turner, Falcons
87. LB London Fletcher, Redskins
86. RB Darren Sproles, Saints
85. LB NaVorro Bowman, 49ers
84. DE Chris Long, Rams
83. RB Fred Jackson, Bills
82. OT Joe Thomas, Browns
81. DT Vince Wilfork, Patriots
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