6'2 - 294 lbs
Scouts like the light feet Richardson shows for his size, as he is able to twist inside and chase plays to the sideline with great speed. That agility, combined with his length, makes him a strong tackler in close quarters. Richardsons first step off the snap, especially when lined up over the ball, is quite impressive; he gets into the backfield in a heartbeat, beating reach-blocks and will work his way through double-teams if he sees the ball in the quarterbacks hands. He plays with leverage at the point of attack at times despite his height, holding his ground and wrestling with attitude. Has enough athleticism that Missouri uses him as a standup rusher and to drop into short zone coverages over the middle of the field, where shows the ability to cover crossing receivers and tight ends in a short area
Richardson can struggle to break down and his upper-body strength is not elite, which means his high pad level and failure to use his hands to shed blocks can allow him to get turned from the hole and taken to the ground once off-balance. He had surgery in the offseason to repair a shoulder injury, so he must show his strength has improved. A better player in pursuit than he is holding the point against the run, where he can struggle to anchor. Drag down lunging tackler that misses ball carriers in space.
Richardson was forced to go the junior college route, then missed most of his sophomore year due to injury before attending his home state school in Columbia; he wasnt a starter in 2011, but showed off the athleticism (eight tackles for loss, two sacks) to make scouts think 2012 could be a break-out year. He had a superb junior campaign, and his role grew extensively with Missouri using him in a variety of roles. With Richardson's incredible athleticism, he figures to be one of the top combine performers and will likely warrant a top-20 selection.