PROS: Has a nice first step and is able to collapse the pocket as a bull rusher. Can make plays in the backfield showing nice closing burst on the ball. Has a good motor and fights through double teams. Will chase and pursue outside the pocket and has just enough range to be effective there. Can get leverage vs. the run, press the line of scrimmage, and can make the stop at the point of attack. Comfortable dropping into coverage and moving in space. Gets his hands up and will bat down passes.
CONS: Doesn't have any real moves besides his go-to bull rush. Struggles against double teams. Can get pushed back off the ball and doesn't always get off blocks well. Not a smooth athlete when operating in space.
OVERVIEW: Ricks has run-stopping potential, but is probably a bit undersized for the pros. Was a backup until his senior year where he had 38 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and 1 INT. He has experience playing both nose and 3-technique.
NFL FORECAST: I like Ricks potential if he can bulk up. His ability to bolster a team's rotation is his best asset. I'm not sure he can be a starter, but it's not out of the realm of possibilities. If he was to bulk up to around 300+ pounds and impresses teams with his strength and motor, I could imagine him being a starter four or five years down the road. He won't be an impact starter, but could be a guy that can give you 30 or so good snaps a game if you have a nice rotation. If he can bulk up some more, then I think he stands a decent chance of being a rotational nose in a two-gap scheme. His style of play is more geared to being a short-area power player which is a better fit in the 3-4. BUt he's too small for that scheme, and probably would need to add another 20 pounds in bulk to hold up there. Otherwise, he's just a guy that adds value to a 4-3 team as a backup because he's a high effort player. But for him to stick there, he probably will have to bulk up there some as well.
ATL FORECAST: Ricks could work in Atlanta because he's a high motor player and could potentially develop into a decent No. 3 tackle. At this point, I'm not sure he's that much better than Vance Walker, but the two of them could push each other and the winner of that battle should make a competent No. 3 within a year or two.
VALUE: Ricks is worth a late round pick for a team looking for a developmental tackle to bolster depth. The highest he should go is a seventh round pick.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.