Ricky Stromberg, C, Arkansas | NFL Draft Scouting Report

The last Arkansas Razorbacks center drafted? Frank Ragnow. And while Ricky Stromberg may not go in Round 1, his scouting report deserves attention.

Over the last 10 years, Arkansas has shipped four interior offensive linemen to the NFL via the draft. Next up: center Ricky Stromberg. He won’t earn first-round billing like the last Razorbacks center selected (Frank Ragnow), but Stromberg’s 2023 NFL Draft scouting report details a starting-caliber prospect.

Ricky Stromberg NFL Draft Profile

  • Position: Center
  • School: Arkansas
  • Current Year: Senior
  • Height/Weight: 6’3″, 306 pounds
  • Length: 33 1/4″
  • Hand Size: 9 3/4″

A Tulsa, Oklahoma native, Stromberg spent his high school career at Union High School. As a sophomore, he entered the varsity starting lineup and helped lead the team to an 11-2 record and a state championship victory. Union returned to defend their crown in Stromberg’s junior season, but they fell in the title bout — their only loss of the year.

As a senior, Stromberg won district Offensive Lineman of the Year at left tackle. A three-star recruit, he initially committed to hometown Tulsa as a junior, but a late offer from Arkansas was enough to sway his decision. Thus, Stromberg accepted his only Power Five offer and signed with the Razorbacks to continue his football career.

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Four years and 44 starts (nine at RG, two at LG, 33 at center) later, Stromberg received the 2022 Jacobs Blocking Trophy, given to the SEC’s top offensive lineman voted on by the coaches, was a two-time all-conference member, and was invited to the East-West Shrine Bowl and the NFL Combine.

Stromberg put up eye-catching testing numbers during the pre-draft process, recording a 5.27 40-yard dash (1.75 10-yard split), 32.5″ vertical, 9’3″ broad, and 7.5 three-cone (pro day). But does the tape match Stromberg’s accolades and Underwear Olympics performance?

Ricky Stromberg Scouting Report

Last September, Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman spoke glowingly of Stromberg and his NFL potential:

“To see his improvement over the last two and a half seasons has been dramatic. I think he’ll be a guy who can play in the NFL. And he’s tough, I think he’ll play for a long time. His knowledge of the game has certainly improved. Obviously, as he’s gotten older, his physicality — he’s very quick off the ball — understands defensive structures.

“And I really like him, wonderful kid, and we’re certainly glad he’s on our team. He kind of runs that offensive line and has a lot of respect — not only from the coaching staff but from the players on the team.”

Strengths

  • Heavy hands equipped with impressive knockback power on punches.
  • Has the upper body torque to displace off-balance rushers.
  • Coaches will covet finishing mentality — always seeks work and aims to pancake every man across from him.
  • Quick burst off the line and has the mobility/flexibility to fluidly reach the second level.
  • Has experience at all three interior positions, with 44 starts across four seasons in the SEC.
  • A natural when it comes to gaining proper leverage and positioning early in reps.
  • Reaches landmarks and angles in zone schemes with ease.
  • Made the protection calls for the offense.

Areas for Improvement

  • Tendency to bend waist and lower head into contact.
  • Longer defender can control him if he doesn’t fit his hands precisely.
  • Can be late with his hands when resetting, and they usually land wide on initial usage.
  • Can work himself out of control on the move (ended up on the ground more than you’d like).
  • Had at least five penalties every season (per PFF).
  • Feet will occasionally die after contact, allowing second-effort penetration.

Arkansas C Ricky Stromberg Current Draft Projection

Outside of the propensity to bend at the waist, dip his head into contact, and shoot his hands too wide, there is little not to like about Stromberg’s scouting report. Now, those three issues aren’t gloss-over worthy, but it’s also not as if they show up on every rep.

What does show up on every rep is Stromberg’s tenacity, ability to explode off the ball, and consistency in finding the proper angle. If I’m a team that needs a rookie center to compete for a starting spot on Day 1, I’d be comfortable taking Stromberg sometime on early-to-mid Day 3. And if a franchise values his versatility even more and projects him better at guard, he could even sneak into the back end of Round 3.

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Stromberg checks most boxes, has few glaring holes, and is simply solid all-around, which is what you want at the fulcrum of the offensive line — a steady hand. But he’s also scheme independent, although I believe he would thrive in a zone-heavy scheme.

And even though weighing one Power Five conference’s competition higher than another may not be the best process, it just means more in the SEC, and his 44 starts worth of experience is notable. A Day 3 prospect that could be a Year 1 NFL starter? That’s a … berg-ain! It’s my last scouting report of the 2023 cycle, save your boos and tomatoes for the actual draft.

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