2014 Dallas Cowboys Draft
The Case For … Cyril Richardson
By Matthew Postins
Every few days leading up to the 2014 NFL Draft RattleandHumSports.com will profile a player that the Dallas Cowboys could select in the draft.
Cyril Richardson, OG, Baylor
Measurables: 6-foot-5, 348 pounds
Rankings: CBSSports.com ranked Richardson as the No. 50 overall prospect and the No. 3 draft prospect at offensive guard.
Draft grade: CBSSports.com gives Hageman a second-round grade.
In College (from baylorbears.com): Dominant two-time All-American offensive lineman, three-year starter… League’s only two-time Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year (2012 and 2013), also three-time All-Big 12 honoree… 2013 Jim Parker Award winner and 2013 Outland Trophy finalist… Invited to play in 2014 Senior Bowl… 2013 unanimous All-American, just seventh such honoree in school history… Fifth multi-season All-American in Baylor history… Member of senior class that played in four straight bowl games for first time in school history and earned program’s first Big 12 Championship and BCS Bowl berth in 2013… Started 42 (29 at left guard, 13 at left tackle) of 51 career games played… Earned second-team All-American honors as junior in 2012… Played LG as senior (2013), junior (2012) and redshirt freshman (2010), was starting left tackle as sophomore (2011)… Has benched 400 pounds and recorded 32 reps on 225-pound bench… Squatted 665 pounds… Native of New Orleans, moved to Texas as Hurricane Katrina refugee… Earned undergraduate degree in December 2013 in general studies.
So far in the scouting process: Richardson played at the Senior Bowl and his reputation among scouts took a bit of a hit. He struggled against some defensive tackles, including Pittsburgh DT Aaron Donald. Scouts liked his ability to take on tackles one-on-one on a straight line, but were surprised at his lack of lateral quickness.
What scouts say:
“Richardson has a massive frame with a large wingspan to engulf defenders, but he tends to allow rushers into his body too often and needs to be more consistently aggressive with his limbs. Richardson is surprisingly nimble and carries his weight well, staying light on his feet and moving from side-to-side very easily.” – Dane Brugler, CBSSportscom
“Richardson looks the part of the road grader at left guard. His combination of size, strength, and athleticism stands out among the senior prospects at the position. He exhibits good bend, adequate feet, and excellent anchor strength to make absorbing the power rush appear effortless. Despite his imposing size and great strength, Richardson is not much of a drive blocker. He flashes a violent punch and the ability to open holes for Baylor rushers, but his effort and effectiveness as a run blocker are inconsistent at best. His physical tools may be that of a starting NFL guard, but on tape I see a classic example of parts exceeding the sum.” – draftbreakdown.com’s Jeremy Hyde.
Why does he fit in Dallas: The Cowboys solidified their interior offensive line by drafting Travis Frederick in the first round of last year’s draft and it paid off. The emergence of Ron Leary at left guard helped the Cowboys get the run game going. Now there’s the question of the right side of the offensive line. Left tackle Doug Free had a better season in 2013 and he’s now the longest-tenured member of the offensive line. Right guard Mackenzy Bernadeau lost his job for more than a month to 37-year old guard Brian Waters. Bernadeau’s play was better after he returned when compared to 2012, but he’s the most likely Cowboy to be replaced by a draft pick.
The bottom line? The Cowboys have done a good job getting younger at this position group the past two years, but they shouldn’t stop now. Richardson is a player that could be had in the second round, and if he does fall to the Cowboys in that round that presents them a great opportunity to upgrade at the position without spending a lot of money. Any NFL pick comes with some things that need improvement, and the holes that scouts are punching into Richardson’s reports are standard operating procedure this time of year. Richardson has the raw materials to become a solid NFL guard and he’d serve the Cowboys well as a second-round value pick.