Top O-Line Prospect Confirms Bolts' Interest

As the NFL draft draws closer, prospects are getting a better sense of what teams are interested in them. One massive offensive tackle recently revealed that the Chargers are one of four teams showing heavy interest in his services. What is it about this mammoth lineman that has the Bolts salivating? breaks it down.

Former Clemson offensive tackle Barry Richardson listed the Chargers as one of the four teams most interested in drafting him, along with the Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles. Richardson was named first-team All-ACC each of the last two seasons and has the size (6'6", 345 pounds) and agility to maintain that productivity on the pro level.

Richardson is a proven winner at every level. In his three seasons at Clemson—he graduated in only three years—he helped the Tigers compile a 25-13 record.

"Once I get on the field I know how to turn loose and get after it," Richardson said. " I want to win. That's the most important thing to me. Some people say winning isn't everything, but to me that's the only thing there is."

OL Barry Richardson
Streeter Lecka/Getty

Richardson is one of the most dominating linemen in Clemson history. As a senior, he graded out with a 93 percent blocking efficiency. As a junior, he delivered 75 knockdown blocks and helped the Tigers rank fifth in rushing offense and third in sacks allowed.

If Richardson is drafted by the Chargers, he will have some familiar faces in the locker room. He helped pass protect for Charlie Whitehurst in 2005, including a game in which Richardson held future No. 1 pick Mario Williams without a sack. Also on that Clemson team was Anthony Waters, who the Chargers picked up in the third round of the 2007 draft.

Richardson is eager to prove to the Chargers that he deserves to play alongside his former teammates.

"I just want to show them what I can do and show them that I deserve a spot on the roster," he said. "I want to show I have the talent to perform at the next level."

The opportunity is certainly there in San Diego. The depth chart is bare behind projected starters Marcus McNeill and Jeromey Clary, so A.J. Smith will almost certainly address the offensive tackle position during the draft.

In the last four drafts, Smith has selected seven offensive linemen on day two. If Richardson lasts that long, expect the 6'7" tackle to become number eight.

Michael Lombardo is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a long-time contributor to the network. He has followed the Chargers for more than 14 years and covered the team since 2003.

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