The Jacksonville Jaguars waited until the fourth round to finally pick an offensive lineman, much to the chagrin of a lot of fans, but their patience might have paid off by landing N.C. State offensive lineman Will Richardson. Many experts thought Richardson would go on Day 2 of the 2018 NFL Draft, but some off the field issues likely caused him to slip.
“We did,” Jaguars general manager said on Saturday when asked if Richardson’s off field issues had been cleared up. “We spent some time with him, we’ve done—spent a lot of time with him here and then obviously at the school there we have some good connections and felt like a lot of it was behind him and he made some bad mistakes and I think he’s owned up to them. He was suspended for the first two games, as you guys know, and we feel that he has a lot to prove.”
As long as those issues are behind him, the Jaguars may have just picked up their new swing offensive tackle, at least for Richardson’s rookie year. He’s been mainly a right tackle in college and a lot of experts view him as a right tackle only, but Caldwell thinks they can get versatility out of the rookie.
“Yeah. I think he’s pretty versatile. He’s got good knee bend. He’s always had quick feet,” Caldwell said about Richardson playing other positions. “He’s a strong guy, can really anchor against a pass rush and you see what he’s done in the ACC. I don’t think he gave up a sack or even a pressure this year, but he was highly productive there in pass protection. Obviously, he’s had a tough haul the last couple years facing every day at practice a couple of really good defensive ends they’ve had there, not only [Bradley] Chubb, but the other guy that tore his ACL is a really good player, too. Those guys have had a great defensive line and really challenge those guys.”
It’s possible Richardson competes for the right guard position with Parnell still manning the right tackle spot, but even if Richardson can’t quickly make that move to card and push A.J. Cann to the bench, he can potentially be an upgrade to the backup swing tackle position.