NAME: Rick Gamboa
CLASS: RS Senior
JERSEY: No. 32
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
WT: 240 lbs
PROS: Squatty and thick build lends itself well to stopping power in the hole. Can shock ball-carriers who arrive with far more momentum. Has a particular knack for locating and keeping track of ball-carriers through the muck of the trenches, regularly sneaking into tight-quarter plays. Reads zone flow well, especially to the outside, and regularly beats offensive linemen to their landmarks. Will be patient and wait for his window. Can slice into small gaps and deliver a hit to a running back still reading the flow. Ability to read in space also shown on screen routes and other constraint plays to the boundary; does well to make OL miss in space with good angles and some physicality. Also willing to bring physical brand of play to the slot and in man coverage to disrupt stem.
CONS: Athletic profile seems very uninspiring. Seems stubby and lacks range, explosiveness, or change of direction ability–is purely a tackle-to-tackle player. Despite willingness to play with physicality, fails to deconstruct any blocks in almost all circumstances–if you get hands on him, you win. Does not look to take on blockers in the trees and allows himself to get displaced 5+ yards from the action regularly; does not have any good shedding techniques, let alone stacking. Inability to anchor at his size is a grave concern.
Cannot be trusted in man coverage or in short zones, despite good awareness in zone coverage, given poor physical profile to execute most assignments. Easily shaken by average route running techniques. Comes into tackles timidly with his frame upright, especially when tackling in space, which is a shame given how he hits when he has his weight forward. Terribly ineffective as a blitzer–fails to bring power through RBs to push pocket depth and does not approach OTs with any sort of plan to generate a rush angle. Essentially has a nice mind for the game, but the physical tools severely cap his NFL projection.
– Benjamin Solak