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Scouting the OTs: Ja’Wuan James and “Tiny” Richardson, Tennessee.
- Updated: January 14, 2014
Strengths: Size, Length
Weaknesses: Feet, COD, Quickness
“Tiny” Richardson is anything but; standing a massive 6’6″ and a well-distributed 332lbs, Richardson possesses plus size and overall length for the offensive tackle position…A mountain of a man, Richardson is hard to move once he’s anchored in pass protection…Possesses physically strong hands; when in the power position, it’s game over…Possesses enough power to jolt defender on contact…A high effort player whose intensity makes up for some athletic limitations…A reliable pass protector when facing a power/bull rush.
Richardson is not the most blessed athlete and possesses only average feet for the position…A bit of a knee-knocker; appears uncoordinated and out of control at times, especially when trying to complete a block on the second level…struggles to mirror pass rusher, especially when facing an array of speed-based rush moves…Limited to in-line run blocking scheme; not athletic enough to consistently finish blocks in space…Will have to switch to RT in the NFL; lacks the necessary feet to play on the left side in the NFL.
Antonio Richardson is one of those prospects who you can’t help but like because of his rare size and length. Guys as big as him don’t grow on trees, and if you can get one (even if they have some flaws), you do it. Richardson has started at left tackle for the Vols in each of the last 24 games, and while I think another year of SEC football would have served him well, he is an intriguing specimen that is likely to get drafted higher than his talent base would suggest he should. He’s not the most fluid athlete, and I don’t think he’ll find a home on the left side in the NFL. His limited athleticism scares me, as he was completely exposed against Jadeveon Clowney during Tennessee’s game versus South Carolina this year. On the next level, Richardson is likely to play right tackle and, at this point, he appears a year or two away from competing for a starting job. I view Richardson as a quality backup who would make for a nice swing tackle on gameday.