— Jordan Dajani™ (@JDnumba3) April 2, 2014
It’s not uncommon to see Seattle coaches attending a pro-day.
Today John Schneider, Pete Carroll, Darrell Bevell and Kippy Brown all attended the Washington event. As far as I’m aware, Carroll and Schneider have consistently attended the Huskies pro-day.
But Tom Cable was extremely active in Tennessee’s work out this afternoon, having a good long look at tackle duo Antonio Richardson and Ja’Wuan James.
There’s a difference between mere attendance and helping conduct the work out.
For all we know Cable was invited to run through a session because he’s a respected offensive line coach with a strong reputation. Likewise some people might speculate this is some kind of elaborate smokescreen.
I think the truth is he probably just went to have a closer look at both players. Nothing more, nothing less. No conspiracy theory needed.
Richardson is massive at 6-5 and 336lbs. He has 35 inch arms. At the combine he struggled badly during drills, particularly in the kick slide and mirror. He just looked incredibly sluggish all round and there were also reports of a lingering knee issue.
On the field at Tennessee he was a classic underachiever. Some people suggested he was holding back for the draft. You could definitely make that argument watching him play. His effort was up and down, he didn’t finish blocks and for all his mountainous size — he never made it count.
And yet a coach like Cable probably sees pure potential. If the Seahawks want to win getting off the bus — a lineman with Richardson’s size makes a statement.
He’ll want to know exactly what he can and can’t do. Is there enough evidence to feel like you can mould him into a productive starter? Can you get his fire burning? Or is it just too much work?
Cable, like the rest of Seattle’s staff, is all about development. Richardson has oozed upside throughout his college career — even if he never dominated in the SEC.
James also boasts intriguing size at 6-6, 311lbs and again 35 inch arms. He started at right tackle at Tennessee, with Richardson on the left.
In some ways he had the more impressive college career. He’s more polished and requires less technical improvement. While the upside isn’t anywhere near as high, James is more of a plug-in-and-play prospect. He carries less risk — he’s mature, composed and established. But he has a much lower ceiling overall.
He’s a little bit finesse at times. You’re not talking about a great run blocker — he’s better as a pass protector. He doesn’t bust a gut to get to the second level and his footwork can be sluggish at times.
I’ve seen both players graded anywhere from rounds 2-4. We should expect the Seahawks to take multiple offensive linemen in the draft — even if they go in a different direction at #32.
Here’s some tape vs Alabama from 2013: