Corbin Smith

Seahawks Draft Central- Antonio Richardson, OT Tennessee

Created on Apr. 08, 2014 8:17 PM EST



STRENGTHS: Has shown improvements in pass protection, but still at his best in the run game. Like many top tackle prospects in this draft, Richardson possesses great size and has far more athletic ability than you would expect from an offensive lineman. He has great quickness for a 330+ pounder and uses that skill to quickly latch onto opposing defenders off the snap. He has the prototypical body type that scouts look for from a first-second round caliber tackle with a balanced frame, great length, and powerful lower body. He's experienced and has played at a high level against some of the best defensive ends in the country playing SEC competition. Playing against professional players wouldn't faze him in terms of talent.

WEAKNESSES: Richardson has come a long way in terms of consistency as a pass blocker, but he's still not consistent in the area. He had his breakout game in 2012 shutting down South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney, showing he was capable of blocking the best edge rushers in the SEC. However, he didn't do near as well when he faced Clowney again this past season. There's no shame losing a battle to a freak specimen like Clowney, but Richardson has been plagued frequently by poor fundamentals during his career at Tennessee. He has a tendency to over-extend himself trying to reach out to block edge rushers and loses his balance, making him an easy target to bull rush. Clowney had a field day this past season because of this recurring issue. If he doesn't clean up his footwork, life as a tackle in the NFL could be a tougher transition than expected.

WHERE HE FITS: The Seahawks will definitely be looking at offensive tackles next month when making a decision regarding the 32nd pick. This year's class is pretty deep at that position, though there appears to be a big drop-off after Greg Robinson and Jake Matthews are plucked off the board in the opening 5-10 picks. From an athletic standpoint, Richardson looks like a first rounder. Like Seantrel Henderson from Miami, however, production hasn't always lived up to his skill set, and that could drop his stock to an extent. The good news for prospective teams is that Richardson doesn't have the maturity issues that Henderson does, and that could be a real difference maker determining draft position. Seattle will look at this player as a potential fit to shore up right tackle and if he impresses the organization enough, it wouldn't be surprising to see him end up with the Seahawks.
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