2013 was an unusually plentiful year for offensive guards in the NFL Draft, as Chance Warmack, Jonathan Cooper and Kyle Long were all selected in the first round. In this year’s class, things seem to be holding more true to tradition, as there are no guards who are sure-thing first rounders; but among the group coming out, Baylor‘s Cyril Richardson is probably the best bet to be taken in the first round.
Richardson is a guy who really has the ability to make an impact on an NFL offensive line. He’s strong, physical and surprisingly athletic for a player who weighs 340 pounds. He’s by no means a finesse player, having led Baylor’s offensive linemen with 105 knockdowns in 2012. Though he does occasionally seem to get confused on the field and not block anyone, Richardson is a dominant blocker for the most part.
Especially because of his superiority over the other players at his position in this year’s draft, Richardson has a decent shot of being a first-round pick. He’s helped boost his draft stock recently while playing for a Baylor offense that is ranked second in the nation, and if he can continue to be the anchor on that line, he may be able to solidify his first-round status before the season is done.
Ultimately, it will depend a lot on if any team feels that they need a guard badly, but it would be surprising if Richardson lasted past the early second round.
- A road grader who loves to run defenders into the ground
- Very good pass blocker, is strong enough to lock out defensive linemen
- Exceptionally reliable and does not let guys get past him
- Surprisingly quick for a player of his size and does a good job of getting to the second level
- Makes solid contact on pulls
- Doesn’t always play to the whistle
- Neglects to block anybody on some plays
Richardson has been a crucial part of the offensive line which has allowed Baylor to put up ridiculously good offensive numbers through the first five weeks of the 2013 season. The team is second only to Oregon in total offensive yards, and they’ve been effective in both the running and passing games partially because they have reliable linemen like Richardson that give quarterback Bryce Petty and running back Lache Seastrunk plenty of time to execute plays.
2014 Draft Projection: Late First-Early Second Round