2015 NFL Draft: Bengals’ Late Round Defensive Tackle Options

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Aug 30, 2014; Bloomington, IN, USA; Indiana Hoosiers defensive tackle Bobby Richardson (95) sacks Indiana State Sycamores quarterback Mike Perish (15) during the second quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

DL Bobby Richardson, Indiana

Bobby Richardson is an intriguing prospect.  Although he’ll turn some people off due to his “tweener” size, I can only point to what one scout had to say (per Lance Zierlein):

"“He’s a good prospect and with those long arms, that makes him a taller player than his listed height the way we do things. I don’t worry about his fit because everyone runs so many sub-packages now. Just go get a guy with athleticism who can be disruptive. That’s him.” — AFC area scout"

When watching Richardson versus Iowa (and Brandon Scherff) he lives up to his athletic billing.  He displays a solid ability to pressure the quarterback and disrupt plays in the backfield.

Like Hardison, Richardson is another prospect who reminds me of current Bengals defensive lineman Wallace Gilberry.  Richardson’s build at 6’3″, 283 pounds nearly matches that of Gilberry.  This should be proof enough that a creative defensive line like the Bengals’ should be able to incorporate such a talent.  More than this, Richardson could learn from a player like Gilberry who had to battle his way into a consistent rotational role despite size concerns coming out of college.

If Richardson apples himself and recognizes the challenges that lie ahead, he could turn into a solid NFL lineman.  He’ll require time and coaching, but if he applies himself towards becoming a technician, his future could be bright, especially if drafted by the Bengals as Gilberry is in the final year of his deal.

Finding a player in the later rounds of the draft with such size and athletic ability isn’t easy.  Richardson has both.  He could be a real score if he proves himself willing and capable of becoming a film rat.

Next: Could Bengals Forego DT in Early Rounds of Upcoming Draft?

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