Tag Archives: Antonio “Tiny” Richardson

Charles Davis says he wasn’t surprised by Antonio Richardson’s NFL draft slide (video)


KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Former Tennessee player and current television analyst Charles Davis was one of the first to raise concerns about the health of Vol lineman Antonio “Tiny” Richardson back in February.

But after Richardson was not drafted last month and signed a free-agent contract with the Minnesota Vikings, Davis said he took no pleasure in being right.

“I saw that coming early in the process,” Davis said during a visit to Knoxville for a benefit honoring the memory of former Vol Harry Galbreath. “We saw him in the Combine, and I think it was my big mouth that said, ‘Something doesn’t look right…He doesn’t look totally healthy.’ A lot of buzz got created out of that, and I felt badly, because I wasn’t trying to denigrate the kid. He just didn’t look right.

“I followed up on it and I actually had three or four teams tell me, ‘He’s not clear on our board medically.’ So I knew there was something going on. So it didn’t surprise me when he slipped. He’s got to get healthy. When he does, we’ll see that talent come out.”

In more positive draft news, Vols lineman Ja’Wuan James was selected in the first round by the Miami Dolphins. Davis said he believes James impressed teams with his character and work ethic, which helped him move up draft boards.

“Ja’Wuan James I figured would go before Tiny. But I don’t think anyone saw him in the first round. That was a major surprise, but I’m very happy for him,” Davis said. “He was rising as we went on. He went from being considered a third, fourth round guy to a solid second round guy going into the draft. The Dolphins had a heavy need, really liked his character. After the troubles they’ve had, he’s the perfect antidote to that.”

Undrafted James Stone fighting for spot on Falcons (updates on Vols competing for NFL spots)

James Stone (photo by KNS photographer Michael Patrick)

KNOXVILLE, TennesseeAntonio “Tiny” Richardson‘s NFL draft snub got most of the attention earlier this month, but there was another Tennessee offensive lineman who wasn’t selected.

Center James Stone signed a free-agent deal with the Atlanta Falcons after the draft. Like most free agents, his path to a roster spot is uncertain, but Stone has a handful of factors working in his favor. He’s smart, he’s versatile and he has well-respected people vouching for him.

“In one year’s time with him, I was just really impressed with how smart of a player he is,” Vols offensive line coach Don Mahoney told ESPN. “And you have to look at his value to play two positions [center and guard]. I know that’s a big deal, with how many players they carry on a roster. And again, because of him mentally being able to be such a smart player, I think there’s just a tremendous upside to him.” 

Although more than a dozen Vols either worked out or signed free-agent deals after the draft, the NFL is so competitive that very few of them are likely to be rosters by the time the season starts. For many of the players in the group, getting a practice squad job would be beating the odds. Will Stone fare differently? We’ll find out.

Here are some updates on the rest of the Vols selected in the NFL draft or signed afterwards:

Currently on official NFL rosters…

Ja’Wuan James, selected in first round (19th overall) by Miami Dolphins…likely to open season as starter.

Zach Fulton, selected in sixth round (193rd overall) by Kansas City Chiefs….signed 4-year contract.

Daniel McCullers, selected in sixth round (215th overall) by Pittsburgh Steelers…signed 4-year contract.

Richardson….free-agent signee with Minnesota Vikings

Stone…free-agent signee with Atlanta Falcons

Dontavis Sapp…free-agent signee with Dallas Cowboys.

Rajion Neal…free-agent signee with Green Bay Packers

Jacques Smith…free-agent signee with Atlanta Falcons

Alex Bullard….free-agent signee with Detroit Lions

Others…

Michael Palardy…attended New York Jets minicamp.

Mo Couch….attended Dallas Cowboys minicamp

J.R. Carr….attended Washington Redskins minicamp

Corey Miller…attended Kansas City Chiefs minicamp

Some say injury worries could hurt Antonio Richardson’s NFL draft standing

Antonio “Tiny” Richardson warms up during his final week of practice last December (photo by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — What does the future hold for former Tennessee offensive lineman Antonio “Tiny” Richardson?

After his appearance at the NFL Combine, which officially wraps up on Tuesday, that answer is not entirely clearly.

Richardson was expected to be a late first round or early second round choice, according to many projections, but his combine performance was panned by some for being too slow.

That raises another question: His health.

Richardson underwent knee surgery after the 2012 season and at least one reporter — former Tennessee player Charles Davis — has suggested that his knee remains an issue. Davis even suggested that Richardson might have to “redshirt” his freshman season in the NFL.

Obviously, teams don’t draft first round players to “redshirt” them. NFL analyst Daniel Jeremiah even labeled Richardson as a “fifth-round pick.”

This is all unwelcome news for Richardson, who celebrated his 22nd birthday on Monday.

But he can take heart in knowing that misinformation and disinformation is at a premium in the weeks leading up to the NFL draft.

Separating fact from opinion and truth from fiction can be hard to do.

What about the rest of the Vols? Daniel Lewis ran down all their measurements from the Combine. Vols defensive tackle Daniel McCullers will add his numbers to the list on Monday.

Checking in on Vols at the NFL Combine

Antonio “Tiny” Richardson warms up before his final college game last November at Kentucky (photo by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Defensive lineman Daniel McCullers will start his NFL Combine experience on Friday by attending orientation  the rest of his position grouping, while the four Vols offensive linemen in attendance are in the midst of Day 3.

Some have mentioned that all the linemen looked fairly svelte, especially Ja’Wuan James — although that could be because he decided to shave his head completely.

Here’s how they measured up:

Antonio “Tiny” Richardson: 6-foot-6, 336 pounds (9 pounds heavier than 2013 roster listed weight)

 

Zach Fulton: 6-foot-5, 316 pounds (7 pounds lighter)

James Stone: 6-foot-4, 306 pounds (15 pounds heavier)

Ja’Wuan James: 6-foot-6, 311 pounds  (7 pounds lighter)

James told reporters in Indianapolis that working under different coaches had taught him flexibility and the ability to pick up new offenses.

“I faced great pass-rushers all the time in the SEC,” he said. “I can pass block and I can run block.

The Washington Post describes him as a third or fourth-round pick.

This blog post speculates about which of the four Vols might end up in New England playing for Bill Belichick.

Butch Jones dismisses Jadeveon Clowney-Antonio Richardson storyline

Jadeveon Clowney (AP photo)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Have you heard that Tennessee lineman Antonio “Tiny” Richardson must avenge last year’s game against South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney?

The storyline is bogus, Vols coach Butch Jones said forcefully on Tuesday.

“Too much is made of that,” Jones said.

Here’s the storyline Jones doesn’t like: Richardson played a flawless game against Clowney in 2012, only to miss a block on the final play and thus cost Tennessee the game. Now he’s searching for redemption.

Given that there will be roughly 500 stories written about Clowney and Richardson this week, Jones was wise to weigh in.

Jones’ main objection: It’s not a one-on-one battle betweeen Richardson and Clowney. It wasn’t in 2012, and it won’t be this year.

“He’ll line up on Ja’Wuan James just as much as he does Tiny,” Jones said.

I’ll have more later tonight on GoVolsXtra and in Wednesday’s News Sentinel. 

Tennessee football practice: Notes from Sunday’s session at Haslam Field

Justin Worley

Tennessee quarterback Justin Worley takes a snap in practice on Aug. 18, 2013 at Haslam Field in Knoxville.

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — One day after an open session at Neyland Stadium, the Vols were back on the normal practice fields.

A heavy morning rain gave way to some sunshine, so Tennessee stayed outdoors for the workout.

The Vols will have one more practice on Monday before taking off Tuesday and Wednesday to get players ready for the start of school. (Although as Butch Jones would point out, there are no true off-days. They just won’t practice).

Here’s what we learned from Sunday’s session:

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