Ricky Sapp DE  Clemson

TALENT BOARD

 Round 4


 

STRENGTHS

Ricky is a very athletic defensive end.  He shows a good burst off the ball and has nice change of direction skills.  He has those long arms and legs that give him a distinct advantage when rushing the passer.  That's it... that's all the positives I have on Ricky.

 

NEEDS TO IMPROVE

Ricky's defensive lineman techniques are very immature for a senior with as much athletic talent as he has.  He does a good job coming off the ball, but will give up pursuit once he lifts his head and sees how far away he is from the play or once his initial rush has been engaged by an offensive lineman.  He lacks the energy to tackle a player from behind if he thinks he might not be able to make the tackle before another teammate.  Ricky can be handled easily in the run game and, if he is doubled teamed when he is rushing the passer, is satisfied to accept the double team and not fight through it to make a play.  He runs around blocks and will leap into the air like Spiderman to get away from a cut block instead of using good techniques and his hands to fend off the blocks and move on with his attack.  

 

BOTTOM LINE

My opinion of Ricky is that he thinks he is a finished product and ready to make a big impact at the next level just by showing up on the field.  It obvious with his lack of overall techniques that he does not work at his craft.  At the next level, his overall outstanding athletic talent will be overcome by his poor mental stamina, work ethic and on the field maturity.  It seems to me that Ricky is in love with his athletic talent and feels that will be enough.  The truth is, Ricky was taken off the field a lot in the red zone in obvious run downs.  That's not first round talent or prime time talent.  Ricky has the talent to be as good as Jason Taylor (LB/DE Miami Dolphins).  If fact, when he does make a play, he reminds me a lot of Jason because he has the same size and body type.  So that gives you an idea of his potential; however, I don't draft potential in the first three rounds.  If you want to turn a team around fast you look for player with quick LTI.  Ricky is a long ways away from being a Jason Taylor right now.  Just because he has the talent does not mean he will be as good.  Draft him and use him as a situational pass rusher who still has a lot to learn with the thought that maybe he will turn into an every down complete DE or OLB/DE sometime in the future makes more sense to me.  I'm sure Ricky's workouts will be outstanding and make him a commodity that most teams will want to draft in the first or second round.  All I can tell you is that in spite of that athletic talent he shows in his workouts, those talents become average athletic talents once the game begins. 

 

Drew Boylhart  1/10