News & Updates

Jan 29

College football notebook

Hoke's 2011 class, top recruits still remain uncommitted and more.

Antonio Richardson – Tackle

“Tiny” Richardson is a third year junior and a two-year starter at left tackle for Tennessee. He has excellent size, being listed at 6’6 – 325, and has very long arms. He has good quickness and play speed for an offensive lineman to go along with good overall athleticism. He shows bend, quick feet, and good change of direction.

As good an athlete Richardson is, he doesn’t always play with that top athleticism. I have seen too many plays where Tiny shows good bend and keeps his back straight, so I know he can do it. Still, while he flashes very good initial quickness, there are plays where he is the last player off the ball. He also can have a tendency in the run game to play tall and over extend (bend at the waist). He can get away with it at the college level because he is so big and powerful. That won’t be the case in the NFL. He can do it. It’s more a case of concentrating on his technique. Still, when he takes good angles into blocks, he shows some explosiveness on contact, keeps his feet moving, and is able to generate movement.

In pass protection, he shows the ability to set quickly. He has good hand use to go along with a strong punch. With his lateral agility, he is able to cut off wide speed. He anchors well at this level, but again, he can have a tendency to get tall on some plays. He doesn’t always anticipate a counter move. There are plays where his opponent starts outside, only to plant and come back across Richardson’s face. Physically, he can easily recover to stop this type of move, but at times, is late to react to it. Still, with his size and long arms, he can at least knock the rusher off his angle. Even though Richardson can get tall, he still shows very good ability to anchor. You don’t see him give ground to pass rushers.

Overall, Richardson has some faults, but most are correctable with coaching. He has the natural traits to be a very good left tackle in the NFL. At this time, I have him fifth on my tackle list and he can very easily go in the first round.