Eric Dickerson tells TMZ Sports his 21-year-old college football star cousin has Hall of Fame potential ... saying he expects "great things" out of the former Texas A&M tight end.
Eric's relative is Ricky Seals-Jones -- a 6'5", 243 pound tight end who just worked out for pro scouts at the NFL Combine.
E.D. says the kid has insane potential -- he's big, strong and smart ... scoring a 27 on the Wonderlic test (that's 2 points higher than Dak Prescott).
Several mock drafts have Seals-Jones as a late-round pick, but Dickerson says all that means is a team could wind up with a steal.
"It's not about where you got drafted, it's about the work you put in as a player, your dedication. How dedicated you are to this sport. I know him, I know he's a very dedicated."
We also spoke with Ricky ... who explains what it's like to have Eric as a mentor and why he wants to team up with Cam Newton.