Shoop compares UNC’s Nicks to ex-Bears receiver

SHARE Shoop compares UNC’s Nicks to ex-Bears receiver

Bears college scouting director Greg Gabriel was one of an estimated 75 NFL people at North Carolina’s pro day on Tuesday.

He got to visit with Tar Heels offensive coordinator John Shoop briefly. The Bears have interest in wide receiver Hakeem Nicks and have scheduled a private workout with him next week. Shoop checked in earlier today to talk about Nicks, who was a gamebreaker for the Tar Heels last season. Nicks averaged 18 yards per catch and scored 12 touchdowns.

Our Q&A:

HOW DID NICKS DO AT PRO DAY?

Shoop: He did fine. All of our guys did fine. They’re good players. Hakeem is a fine player and he reminds me a lot of Muhsin Muhammad. He’s ultracompetitive. Gosh, what a great young man.

AS YOU WELL KNOW, ROOKIE RECEIVERS OFTEN STRUGGLE IN THE NFL. CAN NICKS MAKE AN IMPACT IN HIS FIRST YEAR?

Shoop: I have no doubt he can succeed as a rookie. He’s a productive receiver and it’s not a one-hit wonder. He’s gotten better from the first year I was around him to the second year. He has tremendous run after the catch, he’s very strong and he studies his craft. He wants to be good. I think he’ll keep getting better and better.”

WHEN NFL PERSONNEL ASK YOU ABOUT HIM, WHAT QUESTIONS ARE THEY BRINGING UP?

Shoop: Just the normal things. Is he as good as he looks on tape? What are his work habits like? Does he understand the game? The answer is he is as good as he looks on tape, he has great work habits and the guy totally gets football. He’s a good young man and we’re all rooting for him.

DID YOU SPEAK WITH GABRIEL ABOUT NICKS?

Shoop: Informally. I sure saw Greg down here and we talked. It seems over the past month, myself or coach [Butch] Davis or [wide receivers] coach [Charlie] Williams, someone on our staff, has spoken to every single team about him.

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