NFL Draft

Antonio Richardson NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report and More

Tennessee offensive linesman Antonio Richardson (74) watches from the sidelines during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Dave Martin/Associated Press
Alex DunlapContributor IFebruary 26, 2014

Antonio Richardson, LT, Tennessee, (HT: 6'5¾", WT: 336 lbs)

 

NFL Comparison: Andrew Whitworth, LT, Cincinnati Bengals


 

Positives

  • Passes the good­ old-­fashioned "eyeball test" with flying colors.
  • Intriguing, massive prospect.
  • Was good enough as a sophomore at Tennessee to keep Dallas Thomas—a third-­round draft pick in the 2013 NFL draft of the Miami Dolphins—as the Volunteers starting left tackle.
  • Nicknamed "Tiny."
  • Projects with scheme and concept versatility at the NFL level.
  • Has played in both the man-­power (2012) and zone (2013) concepts under different line coaches in consecutive collegiate years.
  • Appears a much better prospect in a man-­power scheme.
  • Smothering presence that will finish blocks with great motor when starting in good position.
  • In the run game, he comes out of his three­-point stance with a great upfield surge and quick first step.
  • Generally keeps suitable pad level.
  • Has shown amazing agility for a 330­-pound athlete.
  • Frequently engages linebackers and second-­level defenders without seeming overmatched in the speed category upon arrival upfield.
  • Plays to the whistle.
  • Has shown the ability to get downfield and "look for work," helping pave the way for ball-carriers in productive ways completely unrelated to his original assignment.
  • Tied for second-most bench reps of 225 at the NFL combine among the 51 offensive linemen in attendance.

 

Negatives

  • Worrisome feet that only flash athleticism in certain, limited capacities.
  • Has a tendency to narrow his power base through engagement and fold to overpowering bull-rushers.
  • In pass protection, he struggles to own his space.
  • Can start engagement from a bad position due to sloppy hand placement.
  • Does not possess nearly the power or leg drive evaluators would expect given his size.
  • Can get "bowed up" when covered and going head-­to­-head with typically smaller opposing lineman, allowing penetration.
  • Shows a tendency to get his feet tangled and lose balance when countering outside speed.
  • Has shown notable instances through 2013 of taking bad zone angles and either missing assignments entirely or leaving linemates utterly stranded.
  • Can show a tendency to "catch" opposing pass-rushers and give up ground.
  • Struggles to gain position as opposed to exploding into engagement and owning the space.
  • Susceptible to inside rush moves when anticipating speed and can be a liability for holding calls in these instances.

 

Personal Notes

  • Full name: Antonio James Richardson.
  • Born February 24th, 1992.
  • Son of Lanny Richardson.
  • Majored in communcations while at Tennessee.
  • Started all 24 games of his sophomore and junior seasons.
  • Former No. 1 high school prospect in the state of Tennessee.
  • Per PostandCourier.com's Darryl Slater, he claimed by opposing SEC DE Jadeveon Clowney as being "the best at holding and getting away with it."
  • Childhood heroes were NBA stars Michael Jordan and Shaquille O'Neal.
  • Quoted as claiming to have battled childhood anger management issues that have now been overcome.
  • Generally cited by teammates and coaches alike as a player with great work ethic and leadership skills.

Ratings Chart

 

Overall

Richardson is clearly a prospect who will not remain available in the 2014 NFL draft for long given the immense upside that comes with such great size coupled with agility at one of professional football's marquee positions. Technical issues and questions regarding core strength will be apparent to evaluators upon review of Richardson's overall body of work. Richardson did quite a bit to alleviate concerns about strength at the NFL combine with his dominant performance in testing for the bench press, though. Richardson has elevated his stock through the process to the point where he should be considered by tackle-needy teams picking at the end of Round 1. 

 

Draft Projection: 1st-2nd Round

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