Mike Casazza

Big 12 Aims High For 2014 Draft

Created on May. 03, 2013 10:27 AM EST

No. 8: Richardson One Of Biggest And Best

Similar to Oklahoma's Gabe Ikard, Baylor's Cyril Richardson might switch positions after college.

Rest assured that Richardson will play in the NFL. The reigning Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year could be a guard, like he has been for the Bears, or he could be a tackle, which is especially valuable in the land of multi-millionaire quarterbacks with expensive blindsides. He's started for entire seasons at both spots on the left side in college.

Ten offensive linemen were picked in the first round of the 2012 draft as teams try to protect a number of investments made at quarterback the last two drafts. Richardson should be in the thick of a thinner crop in 2014. At 6-foot-5 and 325 pounds, he's large enough to handle himself on the outside against pass rushers intent on invading the pocket. His school reports he can bench press 400 pounds and squat 655, so he's strong enough to manhandle on the inside. 

Richardson is worth trusting. In 2011, he was moved from guard to tackle to protect Robert Griffin III. Last year, he was moved back inside and powered the running game by handling the space Baylor's wider-than-normal offensive line splits create. Whether he's drafted by a traditional offense that doesn't rely much on the spread or a more modern offense that needs skilled linemen, Richardson can adapt.

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