Antonio Richardson   OT   Tennessee

TALENT BOARD ROUND  1

STRENGTHS
Antonio has very quick feet to go along with his excellent size to play his position at the next level. He has long arms and, with his quick feet, has the potential to become excellent at pass defense. He is big but fires out and keeps his leverage when run blocking. Antonio is very quick out of his stance and has the athletic talent to play more than one position on the offensive line for the team that drafts him at a very high level. He stays with his blocks until the whistle. He is excellent as a pulling offensive lineman and has the ability to get out to the second level and cut off linebackers. Antonio loves to block on the move and in space. He might be one of the better big offensive linemen I have seen in a long time blockings on sweeps and screen. On film you can almost see him drooling in anticipation when he is on the move and ready to explode into his blocks on screen plays as he is working his way down the field looking for more than just one block.

CONCERNS
Right now Antonio is a solid pass blocker but he could be so much better than he is right now. When pass blocking he gets frustrated and if the player doesn’t come to him fast enough, Antonio gives up on his techniques, lunges, drops his head and loses his balance. For a big kid it’s surprising how he struggles when bull rushed, but that’s all a technique issue and can easily be addressed at the next level. He has to have more confidence in the fact that he might not have great lateral agility but his has such quick feet that he can mirror his opponent if he stops grabbing on to them and just keep his balance and use better hand techniques. He has to set up and move his feet instead of punch with the palm of his hands keeping his opponent away from his body. If he can continue to move his feet, he can better match and mirror his opponent’s pass rushing moves. This kid has the potential to be a dominating offensive lineman.

BOTTOM LINE
I look for two things with an offensive lineman other than size: lateral agility and quick feet. Those who have both are franchise offensive Left Tackles. Antonio may lack a “little” in the lateral agility area, but his quick feet are some of the best I have seen and he moves them when he run blocks. He now he has to learn how to move them when pass blocking. Antonio is the type of player who likes to hit people, which is why he loves to run block. When he pass blocks, he wants to hit people also, but this mentality and lack of patience will cause him to struggle when pass blocking at the next level. Antonio could be an excellent Left Tackle or Left Guard; it will be up to him. He shows good mental strength and looks like he wants to learn. I think a smart offensive line coach will understand Antonio’s frustration when pass blocking and teach him the correct techniques that will allow him to be aggressive when pass blocking. Antonio loves a challenge and, although he may not have all of the pure athletic talents that a franchise Left Tackle should have, that doesn’t mean that he can’t become a franchise Left Tackle with the athleticism that he does have. He just has to learn to do it differently. Workouts will move Antonio up the boards quickly. He reminds me a lot of Eagles Jason Peters and has the same potential to be as dominant.

Drew Boylhart
DEC/2013