6-4/252 Ohio State
Pros: A decent short-area receiver that is mostly used as a blocker. Has a nice mean streak as a blocker and does a nice job finishing his blocks.
Cons: Gives very little as a receiver because of questionable hands. Doesn't get good release and lacks speed to do much outside short routes. Needs to get stronger as a blocker and lacks pop. Doesn't always lock onto defenders, and needs to improve his technique.
Overview: He's primarily a blocker despite being a three-year starter. Had only 6 catches as a senior. Missed time this past year with a high ankle sprain.
NFL Forecast: Most players like Nicol that are primarily blockers at least have soft hands that on the rare occasions you do throw them the ball, they are going to catch it. This is what Ben Hartsock is. But Nicol doesn't even have that, so that is going to be a hurdle that teams might face. But if he can get stronger and improve his technique as a blocker, he can potentially be good enough in the ground game that it offsets his lacking passing game skills. Nicol has upside as a blocker and within two or three years time, could be one of the better blocking tight ends in the league. Mainly because when you watch him play, he seems to really like blocking. It's going to take some time, and I'm not sure most teams will be that patient with him. But the potential dividends once he does add strength and improve his technique could pay off for that team. He'll never be more than a backup at the next level.
ATL Forecast: Nicol is similar to Hartsock in the role he can fill on the team, but will be much less of a factor in the passing game than Hartsock. He could potentially be a better blocker than Hartsock, but not by such a huge degree that it blows him out of the water.
Value: His potential as a blocker could make some team look at him late in the seventh, but I'd try to get him as a free agent.
Scouting Reports of tight ends in the 2009 NFL Draft.
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