Tom Cable works out Antonio Richardson & Ja’Wuan James

April 2nd, 2014 | Written by Rob Staton

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:

40 Responses to “Tom Cable works out Antonio Richardson & Ja’Wuan James”

  1. Stuart says:

    Thanks for the nugget for us Rob. If the Hawks end up picking either player, we will all remember this article.

    Before the combine I was sky high on Richardson. I will never forget watching him in the drills. For a minute there I thought he was going to get tangled in his own feet and fall over backwards, several times.

    Is it because of horrible technique or because he is klutzy? Can klutzy be coached up?

  2. Cade says:

    OT but did you see the tweet that compares Kareem Martin and J Clowneys combine performances side by side?

    Martin is 20 lbs heavier, ran the 10 yard split .03 faster, 5 inch further broad jump and .07 faster 3 cone drill. He has significantly slower 40 time but that’s not too relevant. The vert jump was 2 inches less.

    A quote below from http://withthefirstpick.com/2014/01/07/2014-nfl-draft-scouting-report-kareem-martin-de-north-carolina/

    Kareem Martin at his best is one of the more impressive players in the country. He has shown he can be a terrific run stopper and pass rusher with the ability to take advantage of his arm length, stack and shed and can create penetration. The issue with Martin is his motor, stamina and ability to be consistent. He can also work to improve his pad level and how he comes out of his stance. If a team can just get more of those high level plays out of Martin, he can be a good player for a long time. Martin projects as a top 100 pick because of what he can do now in addition to his upside, looking like a player who should be a nice asset in a rotation initially, but could develop into an effective starting defensive end.

    Martin is projected to be a second or third round pick and ranks in the top-ten of defensive ends

    Do you have an opinion on him?

    Sounds like the ideal guy for us. Quick and strong vs pass and run. Seems real high upside considering his athleticism

    • EranUngar says:

      I love Martin and mentioned him here before too.

      However, I can’t see them picking DL with either of the first 2 picks and he won’t be there at 128th.

      • Cade says:

        Avril has only one more year on his deal and we were shopping for a top tier LEO in FA. Why do you not seeing us going after a LEO if one is available that the front office thinks is great value?

        My impression is we don’t talk about LEO a lot because the more pressing need is at WR and there is a wealth of WR in this draft.. and not much in DL talent.

  3. Kenny Sloth says:

    Sounds like they are looking at an OL at 64.

    • Bryan C says:

      Richardson should go in the 2nd and James in the 3rd to 4th round. I rather the Seahawks take James as a plug and play option.

      • CC says:

        I should have read your comments before I wrote mine – I like your thinking!

        • Bryan C says:

          My comment was more towards the lack of a 3rd round pick. If we dropped down out of the 2nd by picking up a 3rd, we could take James in the late third and get some more picks on the back end of the draft.

  4. CC says:

    I like James more than Richardson – RT – I was happy to hear Cable was looking at these guys!

    • CC says:

      Though the tape from the Bama game looks good for Richardson looks good.

      Maybe we take Richardson at 64 and James in the 5th? I like both of them.

  5. James says:

    I thought ya’ll might find interesting a number of the national mock picks for the Seahawks:

    - Kiper: Tuitt
    - McShay: Su’a-Filo
    - Rang: Benjamin
    - Brugler: Su’a-Filo
    - Prisco: Benjamin
    - Jeremiah: Moses
    - Brooks: Benjamin
    - Davis: Donald

    All the mocks still have Moncrief, Bryant and Bitonio (three of Rob’s favorites) available at #32.

    I will take the “consensus” pick of Benjamin, though I have to agree with Rob that, alas, he will be picked ahead of us, but….

    • James says:

      note: virtually all the mocks that show Benjamin not being there at #32 have him going to SF….ugh.

      Su’a-Filo was the second choice. The anaylsis of him is that he is a virtually perfect OG prospect, great feet, strong, mean and nasty, leadership, elite against both the run and pass, the ideal ZBS blocker, only flaw is lack of strength, which they point out was due to him losing two years of weight training while on his Mormon mission, and that a year in a pro weight program will have him playing with max force at about 320 lbs.

      If Donald is still there, as Davis projects, it will be Christmas in May for Rob!

      • CC says:

        I do think a guard pick is needed, but would you take a guard over one of the tackles? Maybe Bowie or Bailey can do it, but that RT spot makes me nervous right now. I really would like a solid OT who can be at that spot for 8-10 years and fill in for Okung if needed.

        • Kory says:

          Bowie held it down at RT last year. I’ve been going over some of last years games and Bowie was by far better at pass blocking than Breno. Breno looked like a fish out of water compared to the natural fluidity Bowie showed. His pass blocking was clearly head and shoulders above Breno, and his run blocking while not as aggressive, was much more polished. Breno looked to bulldoze while Bowie was much more adept at using leverage and angles and all the little tricks of the trade that a good O-lineman employs.

          • Rob Staton says:

            “I’ve been going over some of last years games and Bowie was by far better at pass blocking than Breno”

            I’m not sure how anyone can come to this conclusion. Breno consistently battled and beat top pass rushers in 2012 and 2013. Bowie struggled like crazy in some of his starts — particularly against STL and Arizona.

            That’s not to say Bowie won’t get to Breno’s level in time, but there was a mile between the two last year. It was a major boost to get Giacomini back for the final stretch of the season.

      • Arias says:

        I don’t know. Corner is a desperate need for SF and if they want a shot a Gilbert or Dennard assuming one of them is still on the board, they’re going to have to take him there and not Benjamin.

        • AlaskaHawk says:

          I read a scenario where San Fran trades with Detroit and picks the #1 corner. They have far to many draft picks to use. If San Fran stays in the same spot, I would like to move ahead of them and watch Harbaugh gnash his teeth when we pick their receiver.

        • CC says:

          Too bad for SF – they seem to get everyone’s left overs.

          The Bleacher report has a story on Tharold Simon with video. I hadn’t seen much of him, but watching that tape, I think WOW – he is Sherm junior. Granted those videos show the good stuff, but he looked good, so I like the DBs coming up for Seattle right now.

  6. Stuart says:

    JS will create some action for acquiring more picks and/or trading down.

    As it is now, #32, #64 and then a huge gap (no 3rd rounder), #128. That is a gap of 64 picks. There is really good talent in that section to completely miss out on. Patience is one thing, missing out on the “best draft talent in a decade” is another story.

    As Rob has stated numerous times, trading down from #32 is in the slim/none category. That’s ok, we will get a great talent at #32 and again at #64-and again at #128-4th Round.

    How do we acquire a 3rd round pick this year without giving up more picks from this draft?

    Trade a player? Rarely happens in the NFL. Maybe, but who and for what?

    Trade next years 2nd for a teams 3rd this year? Why not? We will still have 10 draft picks in the 2015 draft.
    On that note I would also be happy to trade next years #1 for a teams #2 this year.

    We would still have 9 picks left and JS does great in rounds 3-7 and UDFA anyway.

    We can always “red-shirt” players from this draft just like we did on last years draft only this draft we will come away with some key contributors that will make an impact on our depth immediately, not to mention starters at several positions too.

    I know many of you have already said, no, no, no. Here me out, this is the deepest and most talented draft in a decade.

    More simply put, refinance the house, pull out some equity, invest the equity in a phenomenal long-term opportunity that will also pay immediate dividends. Return On Investment could be historic

    In today’s NFL salary cap era, you need to think outside the box and more creatively to maintain and/or extend your dynasty.

    Unfortunately, in 2015 we are going to be loosing a ton of excellent players. Start drafting their replacements now and get them integrated into our coaching, culture, philosophy this draft.

    I am GM Stuart, and I approve of this message.

    • Belgaron says:

      I think teams might target a sliding quarterback or defensive back at 32. I think it will be Schneider’s preference to move back and acquire picks. In a deep draft, you still get a quality guy 10-15 picks later.

      • James says:

        Agreed. Rob points out that there is little history of the final pick in R1 trading down, but if a QB slides (Carr, for instance), a team may try to jump ahead of the lousy teams at the top of R2 who might be looking for a QB. JS probably could not resist trading his #32 for a second pick in R2 and a R3 pick.

        I do sometimes wonder if, were Benjamin to fall to #29, let’s say, and JS/PC were convinced the 49′ers were going to take him, if they might just trade up three places to land him. Could they do that for a 1 and a 5, or would it take the 1 and the 4? I would not expect them to give up the 4, particularly since they do not have a 3.

    • Robert says:

      Let’s trade Turbo for a 3rd rounder! What? Ok, 5th rounder…

      • Ben2 says:

        I’d love to trade Turbo for a 5th but it ain’t happening – running backs aren’t worth spit. We got Lynch (a former 1st rd pick) for a 4th I believe. Maybe a 7th for him, but I doubt that happens

    • Bryan C says:

      I think trading up was the slim to none. Trading down to get more picks is more likely and in keeping with this front office’s MO. They need to restore the depth we had and that means more picks.

  7. Kyle says:

    So very off topic, but what do you all think about Dri archer? I just watched his highlights and thought he has a lot of Tavon Austin in him, just as a rb. He would be an excellent special teams player and possibly a change of pace swing play back. Guy just has impressive speed and very shifty. I think he plays real fast as well. Also, huge fan rob, definitely my favorite seahawk site. Please keep it coming, thanks.

  8. Burner says:

    Rob, Walter has mocked Canadian G prospect Laurent Duvernay-Tardif to us in the 4th round of his latest mock. Do you know anything about this guy?

    • Brincke says:

      From Fieldgulls.com’s article regarding SPARQ and O-linemen i the draft:
      “LDT! I’ll abstain from talking too much about him as he’s one of Jared’s guys and I’m much less educated on the subject. Suffice to say: he’s an absolute freak, Sweezy-level outlier of an athlete playing the offensive line. He’d also be Sweezy-raw. Depending on how you’ve handled the Sweezy experience, this could be either a positive or a negative. Regardless, his numbers are like out of this world. The only offensive lineman to beat his 3-cone was a converted tight end. It’s probably going to be a long journey for whatever NFL team takes him, but there’s real potential for a gem here. He fits the profile perfectly.”

      Link for the article:
      http://www.fieldgulls.com/nfl-draft/2014/3/31/5566802/nfl-draft-2013-sparq-profiling-part-1-offensive-line

      The article is a nice read, and regarding LDT, the only offensive lineman that beat in the SPARQ- rating was Taylor Lewin.

  9. Robert says:

    Blake annen is a late rounds TE prospect with ridiculous measurables: http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=91361&draftyear=2014&genpos=TE (6’4″ 247lbs, 4.42 40 yds etc)

    • Robert says:

      And a lot of run blocking experience…

    • CC says:

      He had a total of 19 catches – he may not have been used well, but we’d have to see if he’s really a Seattle type player. Willson didn’t have a lot of catches his senior year, but did his junior year.

      • Robert says:

        I watched his vs Purdue tape and they run it a lot. He seems like a very accomplished blocker with great receiver upside due to ridiculous measurables. Seems like a guy we might take in the later rounds…Not many 6’4, 250 lb players that run 4.42 on this planet!

  10. House says:

    If HOU doesn’t take a QB @ #1 (I personally don’t think they will), a team could leapfrog them @ #33 to steal a QB. There are teams like OAK and MIN who might be better suited to NOT draft a QB at #5/#8 and aim for one in the 2nd rd. Trading back to one of those positions would still draft a pick @ #36/40 and pick up a 4th rd pick for it.

    Trade w/ OAK: #32 for #36 and #107
    Trade w/ MIN: #32 for #40 and #108

    • Rob Staton says:

      Still don’t see why those teams are waiting until the last pick of the day to make a deal, when a team like New England at #29 is a prime spot to make any kind of trade.

      • House says:

        I understand what you’re saying. I know draft pick trade compensation isn’t as expensive as it once was. I just have a feeling one of the Top 5 teams doesn’t grab a QB and someone will leapfrog. If HOU does take a QB #1, my potential trade ideas mean jack squat…

  11. Robert says:

    We signed Jon Ryan’s workout buddy, who is a long snapper that made a video of long snapping trick shots…pretty awesome! http://blog.seattlepi.com/football/2014/04/03/report-seattle-seahawks-add-new-long-snapper/

  12. [...] And a reminder — Cable worked out James and team mate Antonio Richardson at Tennessee’s facility at the start o…. [...]