Ricky has excellent size with good speed and quickness to play as a OLB/DE in a 3-4 defense. He shows on film the ability to drop into coverage and the talent to cover a tight end in man-to-man coverage. He is very smart and shows an excellent burst off the line when he is rushing the passer. Ricky shows great change of direction skills to make tackles in the open field; he can sniff out passes to the running backs in the flats and is a good tackler. He understands zone coverage, gives good effort and plays within the context of his team's defensive scheme. Ricky shows me on film some developmental leadership skills; in the right defense, Ricky should become a core player and fan favorite for the team that drafts him.
Ricky is not a defensive end for a 4-3 defense. This means that Ricky's impact for all 32 teams will be in the eye of the beholder. Some teams should rate him high and some low. This means Ricky could fall through the cracks and not be drafted until later in this draft. Ricky needs to develop better pass rushing skills for the next level. With his quick burst off the line, he is just beating right tackles with athleticism. He is faster and quicker than most everyone he is up against, which will not be the case at the next level. However, I have no doubt he will improve.
There are at least three players on this team that are going to play at a high level in the NFL and Ricky is one of them along with Brooks Reed and Lolomana Mikaele. Ricky is way under the radar and I have not a clue why. Brooks Reed continues to be underestimated and I think because no one can pronounce Lolomana Mikaele's name, he is not considered at all. Ricky has talents that make him more of a complete player and I think because all these players play so well in the context of their defense, that no one individual stands out stat-wise. Therefore, none of them get very much attention. The fact is when you see them play on film, you can tell right away how well they are coached and how well they play their positions. Ricky is a real sleeper in this draft. If your team plays a 3-4 defense, they should not overlook Ricky. He should be able to impact very quickly in that style of defense.
The BS Detector
Drew Boylhart April/11