Bolts Prospect Analysis: O-Line, Part I

Jaime Cattano kicks off her four-part series looking at the offensive linemen the Bolts conducted private meetings with during Senior Bowl week. This first prospect's quickness and brawny body control might be the shake the Bolts seek to toe their front line. This prospect was one of the largest players at the Combine. Who said size doesn't matter?

The Bolts coaching staff initiated a private meeting with Carl Nicks of Nebraska during Senior Bowl week. While the Bolts see the persistent player's hard work, Nicks is geared up to move forward.

"I think I'm getting better and better everyday. I have a high tempo going and I'm enjoying it. Working with the top players is just helping me improve," Nicks said.

Nicks joined the Huskers as a junior and immediately rose to the top, proving to be a vigorous player. Flourishing his senior year, he started at left tackle in 11 of the 12 games and was named second-team Big-12.

The Bolts know he has far from peaked and Nicks absorbed every instruction delivered to him in Mobile, Ala.

"The coaches are helping me on the little things and my techniques. The offensive coach (Oakland Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Knapp) has helped me tremendously just in the past few days."

With impressive size and strength, Nicks' 6'5", 341-pound body has the ability to play either tackle position or inside at guard. His versatility and bulk give the Bolts just what they desire.

As a senior at Nebraska, Nicks recorded 76 knockdowns and finished with an 83.42% grade for blocking consistency. While providing incomparable pass protection, Nicks allowed just one quarterback sack and one pressure on 481 pass plays.

Unfortunately, Nicks' off-the-field behavior will limit exposure on the field. His recent involvement at a party where several tickets were handed out will raise a red flag for character-conscious teams. As a result of the delinquency, Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini suspended Nicks from participating in the Pro Day.

Lucky for Nicks, he stood out at the NFL Combine, recording 5.18 40-yard dash, just one-hundredth of a second behind consensus top-five choice Jake Long. Nicks also finished in the top-ten among players in his position in the bench press (31) and broad jump (9'1").

The Bolts look to the draft to help bolster their depth on the offensive line. While Marcus McNeill and Jeromey Clary will hold down the framework, the list stops there. With Roman Oben and Shane Olivea released from the team, the Chargers feel the heat to bridge the gap.

Nicks' size and natural athletic ability give the Bolts the capability to groom him to be terrific backup, and maybe more.

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