Hometown: Tulsa, OK
High School: Union
While he must improve his weight distribution and leverage to compensate for limited lateral movement skills, Ricky Stromberg’s intelligence and rare power profile make him a potentially strong starter in the league.
The Arkansas offense has quietly produced solid NFL prospects in recent years. One of the Razorbacks’ best in the 2022 cycle is Ricky Stromberg. The talented lineman has experience at guard and center. What’s more, the Oklahoma native plays with impressive awareness and vision to identify and address stunts and delayed blitzers. He also quickly recognizes penetration and works to assist his teammates when needed. The Arkansas product maintains a wide base through engagement. Further, he typically initiates contact with inside punches and exhibits the wherewithal to reset his hands when they are knocked away. When Stromberg plays with weight distribution and leverage, the star center is difficult to beat. At the point of engagement, the Razorbacks’ standout boasts natural grip strength, the power to displace defenders with his initial punch and a reliable anchor. Once latched on, the versatile lineman practices persistent leg drive to both walk defenders back and close distance. Moreover, Stromberg displays a sufficiently flexible frame and loose hips to hinge. Primarily a linear athlete, the center can double and climb, pull to lead block, perform reach blocks and work to space on screens. In pass protection, he has the lateral movement skills to occupy the A gaps. Stromberg is capable of mirroring defenders once engaged. Although the Arkansas star will contend for the title of top center in the 2022 draft class, certain areas of his game will prompt second thoughts among NFL teams. First and foremost, Stromberg will primarily appeal to franchises that run gap scheme offenses. On the field, the Razorbacks’ standout’s aggressive angles to engagement leave him no room for error. He enters half-man too willingly and tends to lunge rather than mirror to sustain blocks. Further, the experienced starter’s high pad level surrenders his chest. Stromberg’s high and sometimes outside hand placement reduces his functional power and grip strength when initiating contact. What’s more, the Oklahoma native employs concerning weight distribution that leaves him off-balance and results in his whiffing blocks. Stromberg is particularly affected by his inclination to lunge into contact with stagnant feet rather than close distance with his legs. As a result, he is regularly redirected by intelligent defensive linemen. Likewise, the former guard regularly leads with his shoulder into engagement. In doing so, he offers his chest to opponents while simultaneously limiting his chances of latching on. Defenders throw Stromberg around after landing hands on his frame. Additionally, the Razorbacks’ star’s uninspiring lateral burst and change of direction ability make him ineffective engaging in space or mirroring without contact. One of the 2022 NFL Draft’s best centers, Ricky Stromberg’s intelligence, reasonable linear athleticism and rare power profile for the position make him a reliable pass protector and run blocker. Still, the Arkansas center’s limited lateral burst and change of direction ability will hurt him at the next level. Moreover, he must improve his weight distribution and leverage. Stromberg projects as an early low-end starter with room to improve into a solid starter.
Born November 10th, 2000 to parents Diane and Scott Stromberg in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Ricky Stromberg is one of four siblings (Timmy, Bonnie and Scotty). A three-year varsity letter winner at Union High School, the Tulsa native was a two-way star. In his sophomore season, he helped his team to an 11-2 record and the state championship. The next year, Union posted a 12-1 record but lost in the 6A-I title game. As a senior, Stromberg led his program to a 9-3 record, a number four state ranking and a semifinal berth in the 2018 Oklahoma High School Football Class 6A-I Playoffs. He was also named the District 6A-I-2 Offensive Lineman of the Year. After a strong high school career, Stromberg was ranked a three-star recruit by 247Sports Composite Rankings. The same outlet named him the 501st-overall recruit in the nation, the sixth-best center in his class and the eighth-ranked player from Oklahoma that year. 247Sports, itself, listed Stromberg as a four-star recruit, the fifth-best center in the class and the fourth-overall player in Oklahoma. An immediate impact player for the Razorbacks, the Union product played in all 12 games (starting the last 11) of his freshman season. Stromberg’s first two starts came at left guard before manning the right guard position for the season’s nine final games. He did not allow a single sack on 417 pass-protecting snaps. The versatile lineman moved to center in 2020, playing in nine games and starting eight (all at center). Stromberg allowed just one sack on 355 pass-blocking plays. He did not play in the season finale against Alabama due to an injury. Stromberg was named to the 2020 Fall SEC Academic Honor Roll and the 2021 Rimington Trophy Watch List - awarded to college football’s best center.