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Monday, June 27, 2011
Jeremy Maclin or Hakeem Nicks?

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

So this week's "Hot Button" debate was a fun one. We looked back on the receivers from the 2009 draft class and debated which will have the best career. The choices were Hakeem Nicks, Jeremy Maclin, Mike Wallace, Michael Crabtree and Percy Harvin.

Pretty good-looking group, and as it heads into its third year in the league it's fun to imagine where they're all going from here. But we had to pick a favorite, and as you can see from the link, I made the case for Nicks while John Clayton made the case for Maclin. My basic rationale was that Nicks is the most complete wide receiver of this group and is in a great situation from which to succeed (stability at the quarterback position, complementary receivers around him, etc.)

If you'd asked me this same question on draft day 2009, I'd have said Crabtree, but he hasn't been as consistently productive as the others, in part because of the quarterback issues in San Francisco. If you'd asked me that day who'd have the best first two years, I'd have said Harvin, and I think he's fantastic. But his health issues and the quarterback questions in Minnesota raise too many questions for me. And the most eye-popping guy out of this group has obviously been Wallace, a late-round pick who's developed very quickly into a frightening deep threat in Pittsburgh.

But while I'm a fan of every guy in this group, including Maclin, for whom John makes a good case, I stand by Nicks as the guy best set up to have the best career. You can debate it on that link up there, or right here. As ever, I welcome your thoughts.