Are Tiny Richardson’s Flaws Fixable? I don’t think so

By Sean Meusch

Before the Greg Robinson hype train was in full throttle, Tiny Richardson was the player who had arguably the best set of physical tools for an offensive tackle in the draft class. It was always known he needed refinement before being truly a day one starter.

My have the times changed.

Where He Excels

  • Quick Feet for Size
  • Powerful Run blocker when engaged
  • Great Size

For a man his size, Richardson moves very well, showcasing a quick kick-step as he rides pass rushers and consistently plays on the balls of his feet. Richardson has the ideal frame for a franchise tackle, at 6’6 and 327 pounds. It seems that his weight is evenly distributed and his upper body is filled out extremely well, which gives him plus strength in that respect.

Richardson has showcased a devastating punch, and when he locks on to you it’s usually the end. In the run game he’s shown he can latch on, uncoil, and drive defenders. Richardson should be featured by a time that primarily runs a power scheme.

What Could Hold Him Back

  • Needs Technical Fine-Tuning
  • Anchor/Lower Body Strength
  • Must Improve Awareness
  • Poor Body Control

Richardson will need to get better with his hand placement if he wants to start early on. He’s still punching outside of the numbers, which allows athletic DE’s to get inside and put him on skates. They can also grab and pull him down(Florida game.) Richardson has issues lunging to initiate contact before getting into his set as he’s left himself susceptible to inside moves. He drops his head far too often and whiffs in both the run and pass game.

Richardson’s flaw in his footwork is that he has a tendency to stop moving his feet when mirroring counter-moves and will get beaten inside. This is where the poor body control comes in. He’s proven that he’s unable to change directions and redirect rushers on inside moves.

Richardson is very stiff in his lower body. This is where he bends at the waist and gets beat. He also doesn’t appear to be very strong, as he’s had trouble anchoring against pass rushers that convert speed to power.

Another big issue is his awareness, and this might prevent him from stepping on the field early on. Richardson has a tendency to get confused by stunts & while he’s improved on it this year, there were still instances in 2013 where he got lost during blitzes and ended up blocking no one at all. He can also get better at his snap anticipation. Against lower level competition he was able to compensate for being slow off the snap, but that won’t fly in the NFL.

Grade/Final Thought

Multiple Pro Bowl Player, Top 10   8.5 – 9.0
Highly Productive Starter, 1st Round   8.0 – 8.4
Very Good Starter, Early 2nd Round   7.8 – 7.9
Reliable Starter, 2nd Round   7.5 – 7.7
Potential Starter in Year 2, 3rd Round   7.0 – 7.4
Backup/Spot Starter, 4th Round   6.5 – 6.9
Productive Backup, 5th Round   6.0 – 6.4
Very Good Backup/STs, 6th Round   5.5 – 5.9
Quality Backup/Good STs, 7th Round   5.0 – 5.4
Backup/STs/Project Player, 7th Round   4.5 – 4.9
Priority Free Agent w/ Limitations   4.0 – 4.4
Non-Draftable     < 4.0

 

Trait Weight Grade
Run Block 4 3.6
Pass Block 4 3.6
Technique 2.5 2
Strength 2.5 2.3
Awareness 2 1.5
Change of Direction 2 1.5
Flexibility 2 1.5
Quickness 2 1.8
Size 2 1.9
Length 2 1.9

Richardson grades out to a 7.42, or an early 3rd rounder. From a Chargers perspective, he fits the mold of a player that Joe D’Alessandris tends to prefer-big, quick footed dancing bears in the mold of what the Steelers have drafted throughout the years. Richardson has no issues against average athletes or pure power rushers. His issues are glaring when he’s going against the more athletic pass rushers, who are able to cross his face on a counter move, or create speed to power. His stiffness and inability to protect his inside make me nervous to even give him a grade this high.