Carl Nicks has been like a 340-pound yo-yo in the run-up to the draft. Back in January, the Nebraska offensive tackle’s stock began to rise with a strong Senior Bowl, then bounced even higher in February with a solid performance in the scouting combine. The next month, however, he was arrested at a party in Lincoln, Nebraska, and Nicks’ stock started going in the opposite direction. At one point, it looked like Nicks could be taken as high as the end of the first round. Now he believes that he could go anywhere from the middle of the second round to the fourth round. I just spoke to Nicks, who is home in Salinas, about his roller-coaster offseason.
As far as his March arrest, Nicks said it happened like this: He flew to Nebraska a week before the team’s pro day and that Friday night attended a party at a friend’s house. He knew he would be drinking at the party and asked his friend if he could stay the night. The party grew so raucous that the police were called. When they arrived, Nicks was downstairs in the theater room and he and several other partygoers – including four football players -- were ticketed for being in a disorderly house. The police asked everyone who wasn’t a resident to disperse, but Nicks couldn’t drive. He eventually called a cab but the police arrested him for failing to disperse a disorderly house. He was taken to jail. He said the episode never grew violent or contentious. In fact, Nicks eventually got the charges dismissed and that his agent sent packets to all 32 teams documenting what occurred. “Initially it was frustrating because my stock has dropped because of it,” Nicks said. “But I can’t do anything about that now.”
The episode, however, snowballed when new Cornhuskers coach Bo Pelini barred Nicks from the team’s pro day. Nicks said that other Nebraska football players who were at the same party were able to take part because they were only ticketed whereas Nicks was arrested. He said he never got a chance to argue his case in front of Pelini. “I don’t hate him for that,” Nicks said. “He’s the new coach at a big program. He has to set a standard.”
What also hurt is that Nicks never got to participate in any pro day. He said he wanted to take part in San Jose State’s event but that Salinas, where he played high school football, was more than 45 miles away. He couldn’t take part in the 49ers’ local pro day because Salinas is more than 50 miles from Santa Clara.
The only teams he has visited are Buffalo and Cincinnati. It should be noted that Buffalo will pick ahead of the 49ers in the third round thanks to the tampering case which saddled San Francisco with the 75th overall pick instead of their original 70th.
-- Matt Barrows