With all of the talented offensive line prospects entering the 2014 NFL Draft, Baylor’s Cyril Richardson is definitely the most physically imposing of them all. A massive human being at 6’5” and weighing in at 340 pounds, Richardson, a unanimous All-American, had a huge impact on a Baylor offense that averaged over 600 yards per game.
A phenomenal athlete for his size, Richardson played his freshman season at left tackle before moving inside to left guard, where he physically dominated opposing interior defensive lineman and linebackers at the second level on a consistent basis. Last season, Richardson’s effort was put into question on multiple occasions, but he seemed to put it all together during his senior season, which should solidify his status as a top-40 selection in the upcoming draft.
In Baylor’s up-tempo offense, Richardson proved that he has adequate cardio in order to be effective while carrying his 340 pound body in no-huddle situations. A nimble athlete, Richardson has quick feet that allow him to mirror defenders and pull on lead blocks, getting to the second level on a regular basis.
Richardson, while viewed as a road grader in the running game due to his enormous size, is surprisingly better in his pass protection than his run blocking, as he rarely allows defenders to get their hands inside his pads.
Richardson is at his best when he’s on the move, as you can see in the following clip, as he’s asked to pull to the right, eventually knocking the Oklahoma defender to the ground with ease, clearing the way for a big gain by Lache Seastrunk.
In the run game, Richardson is a force and does a does a great job of sealing defenders and clearing huge running lanes, as you can see in the following clip against Oklahoma.
In pass protection, the Jim Parker award winner shows off his nimble feet in this play against Texas Tech, as he stays in front of his man and flashes his ability to keep his feet moving and showing lateral agility.
The only real knock on Richardson is that as games wear on, he sometimes fails to maintain his pad level, which can cause him to whiff on some blocks, or allow defenders to drive him back out of his stance.
This is evident in the following play against Texas Tech, as he gets too tall and lunges at the defensive tackle instead of lowering his shoulders and driving through him.
Overall, Richardson is an impressive offensive lineman that will be taken in the top half of the second round. He’s an exceptional athlete that is strong and technically sound in both pass protection and run blocking and has the potential to develop into a great guard in any offensive scheme.