San Diego Chargers Draft Busts - #8 Mikhael Ricks

Or, as I like to refer to him, "David Boston, the prequel." He was David Boston before David Boston was mainstream. He's old-school David Boston.

Here's pretty much all you need to know about Mr.Ricks: He's big. Very big. How big? Well, in his playing days he was 6'5" and 260 lbs. That's the same height as Vincent Jackson....and 30 lbs heavier. He's also 30 lbs heavier than the aforementioned David Boston (and 3 inches taller). He was practically a taller version of Brandon Manumaleuna.

With the 2nd round pick in the 1998 draft, the San Diego Chargers took the oversized WR out of Stephen F. Austin University and had dreams of Leaf-to-Ricks becoming what Philip Rivers-to-Vincent Jackson has become. It did not exactly work out that way.

Year one actually looked promising. As a rookie, Ricks caught 30 passes for 450 yards (a ridiculous 15 yards per catch!) and 2 TDs as the #3 WR on the team. In his second year and as a full-time starter, Ricks caught more balls (40) for less yards (429) and less points (0 TDs).

Year three saw the Chargers sign Curtis Conway to take Ricks' starting job, and Mikhael responded by 3 passes for 35 yards and no TDs over 3 weeks. Surprisingly, the mountain of a man had difficulty getting separation against speedy CBs. Who knew? Mikhael was released, and was subsequently picked up by the Chiefs to play the role of backup Tight End.

After a year and a half with the Chiefs, Ricks went to the only place that offered him a chance to start. He went to the NFL's minor league, and by that I mean he signed with the Detroit Lions. He did win the starting job and played two seasons with the Lions, but put up roughly the same pedestrian numbers he did as a Wide Receiver in San Diego. For a second round pick, the Chargers were certainly expecting more.

Fortunately, Ricks seems to be a genuinely good guy. I have no idea how up-to-date this is, but here's what he's up to these days as stolen from his Wikipedia page:

Mikhael no longer plays in the NFL, but he remains in the area where he got his start. He currently lives and works in San Diego. After venturing into the world of marketing and real estate he chose a new career path at Velocity Sports as a "Sports Performance Coach". There he helps young athletes reach their full potential, and aids them in the quest to reach the next level of their sport. Coach Mike is well known to student athletes, and loved by the students that he trains.


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