2014 NFL Draft Player Scouting Report – Arizona CB Shaquille Richardson

By Alex Kozora

Our focus has shifted to the offseason and for the next few months, I’ll be providing scouting reports on several draft prospects. Some of these players the Pittsburgh Steelers may look at and others will be top players that will be off the board before they select. All to make you as prepared as possible for the 2014 NFL Draft.

Breakdown of my 51st and final full scouting report. Hope you’ve enjoyed them. Another prospect the Steelers brought in for a visit. Arizona cornerback Shaquille Richardson.

Shaquille Richardson/CB Arizona: 6’0/1 194

The Good

– Length and frame to grow into

– Impressive triangle numbers and times well

– Above average athlete with enough speed for the position

– Shows quick change of direction

– Some ball skills, tracks the ball in the air well and can high point the football

– Won’t completely run away from contact, will mix it up to a certain degree

– Tiny bit of position versatility

– Solid amount of starting experience

The Bad

– Lean player without much bulk

– Poor tackler fundamentally

– Leads with shoulder too much, doesn’t bring his arms with him

– Prefers to cut the ballcarrier than wrap

– Times where he shows lackluster effort

– Results him in missing too many tackles

– Weak and easily pushed around against stalk blocks or trying to press

– Maturity issues?


– 37 career starts

– 2013: 55 tackles, 3 INTs

– Career: 189 tackles, 10 INTs

– Originally committed to UCLA

– Dismissed from UCLA following June 2010 arrest after facing felony charges for allegedly stealing a purse with two others (including cousin and current draft hopeful Paul Richardson)

– Charges were eventually dropped

– Ejected and suspended for altercation in 2011 for fight against UCLA

– Suffered high ankle sprain early in his career

– Ran in the low-mid 4.4’s at his Pro Day, jumping 38.5 in the vertical and repping 14 times on the bench press

– Has a daughter

– Three star recruit coming out of high school, top 30 corner by Scout and Rivals

Tape Breakdown

Full disclosure – I only got to watch two games of Richardson. Attempted to watch a third game against Oregon but the video is badly messed up and virtually unwatchable. Not many Arizona games floating around online. Must be that East Coast bias. So that’s a bit disappointing for the final scouting report. And while I’ll sound like a broken record, that must be taken account when reading this report. Less games watched, harder it is to accurately judge a prospect.

Does possess the frame that you like to see in a corner. Long body and seems to have plus length. Richardson is a solid athlete with the speed and quickness to play the position. Workout numbers match up with what I see on tape.

Had one of the sickest plays in college football last year, tipping this ball back in bounds to be intercepted by a teammate. From the Oregon game before the video got put into a blender.

In the clip below, plays the fade as well as you can. Reads the stem, watches the hands of the receiver, and plays the pocket when the receiver extends. Breaks the pass up.

He had a productive career with the Wildcats and was considered their best corners. Two years with at least three interceptions and even though he had just one in 2012, he recorded 14 breakups, good enough for Top 20 in the nation.

Comes with a tiny bit of versatility. Strictly a right corner in the two games I saw but he was moved to a safety/rover position in some third down subpackages.


Like so many other cornerbacks I profiled, Richardson is deficient in his tackling ability. He’ll occasionally seek out contact but the results are usually never good.

Starts with his bulk, or lack thereof. Lean build without much muscle, leading him to getting pushed around with ease. Borderlines on being bullied by wide receivers.

Asked to blitz off the edge on 3rd and 2 against Washington State. Gets shoved to the inside, trips, and falls with the running back having a clean path to the edge, converting the down. Richardson is #5, at the bottom of the screen.

In a word, he’s weak. In another, really weak.

Compounds this problem by not being a sound tackler. Prefers to lead with his shoulder or cut the ballcarrier down. Both ways are ineffective and makes him prone to whiffing.

We’ll start the montage with still shots of a cut attempt Richardson misses on against Washington St.



His decision to cut block against USC allows the running back to dive over the top and fall into the end zone.

Clip of him leading with his shoulder. Ends up missing again.


Richardson at the top of the screen in the clip below. Gets pushed back seven yards by the receiver’s stalk block. Plays comes on 2nd and 3 with the game essentially on the line. Not a “big time” play from Richardson.

Flat out don’t like his effort here. Has the receiver sized up but lets him get the edge. All Richardson attempts is a dainty push after the receiver has passed the sticks. Came on a 3rd and 5 with the game tied late in the third quarter.

Ideally, Richardson has matured as he’s gotten older and had a child but there were definitely questions to be answered early in his career. The reason why he was ejected in the UCLA is murky. A video here doesn’t glean much of an answer aside from one or two pushes enough from Richardson. You can check out an article here with the details of the punishment.

Always disappointing to see a prospect fail to make the all-conference team. Richardson didn’t even warrant an Honorable Mention from his 2013 play. Not the say-all, end-all by any stretch but concerning when a college prospect can’t even do that.

There’s a tiny bit of merit to drafting Richardson late. Because of his frame and glimpses of physicality, you can try to coach his technique and get him to be more aggressive.

But that’s a relatively faint hope to go off of. I know I’m picky about corners but the Steelers’ would be better served to look elsewhere.

Enjoy the draft, everybody.

Projection: 7th Round-PFA

Games Watched: at USC, at Washington St

Previous Scouting Reports:
Buffalo LB Khalil Mack
Illinois State T/G Josh Aladenoye
Penn State WR Allen Robinson
Stanford ILB Shayne Skov/a>
Florida State WR Kelvin Benjamin
North Carolina TE Eric Ebron
Auburn T Greg Robinson
Minnesota DT Ra’Shede Hageman
Notre Dame NT Louis Nix III
Auburn LB Dee Ford
Texas Tech TE Jace Amaro
North Dakota State T Billy Turner
Boston College RB Andre Williams
South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney
BYU OLB Kyle Van Noy
Pittsburgh DT Aaron Donald
Tennessee NT Daniel McCullers
Colorado State DE/OLB Shaquil Barrett
Alabama T Cyrus Kouandjio
Tennessee T Antonio Richardson
Central Florida RB Storm Johnson
Virginia Tech CB Kyle Fuller
Alabama S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
West Virginia DE Will Clarke
Louisville S Calvin Pryor
Wisconsin ILB Chris Borland
Vanderbilt WR Jordan Matthews
Virginia T Morgan Moses
Notre Dame DE Stephon Tuitt
Mississippi WR Donte Moncrief
Central Florida QB Blake Bortles
Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel
North Carolina DE Kareem Martin
UCLA OLB Anthony Barr
South Carolina CB Victor Hampton
Clemson WR Martavis Bryant
Fresno State WR Davante Adams
Texas DE/OLB Jackson Jeffcoat
Michigan State CB Darqueze Dennard
TCU CB Jason Verrett
Louisiana Tech NT Justin Ellis
Baylor RB Lache Seastrunk
Rice CB Phillip Gaines
Coastal Carolina RB Lorenzo Taliaferro
LSU WR Odell Beckham Jr.
Cincinnati TE Blake Annen
Alabama LB C.J. Mosley
Auburn RB Tre Mason
Duke CB Ross Cockrell
Missouri CB E.J. Gaines
Utah CB Keith McGill
Nebraska WR Quincy Enunwa
Penn State G John Urschel
Oregon DE Taylor Hart
BYU WR Cody Hoffman
Oklahoma State CB Justin Gilbert

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • Andrew

    In reading the tea leaves and tracking past trends of players who visited and were eventually drafted by Pittsburgh, Richardson should expect to get a call Saturday with a 412 area code.

  • SteelersDepot

    Great job on these, Alex.

  • CW

    The more film I see the more I hope the Steelers snag him late in the draft.

    Really didn’t think much of him early on when his name came up, but then again all I could find were the one crazy tipped ball in the Oregon game and the criminal charge, the suspension, etc (all the bad stuff), which made me leery of who this guy was. But all things being equal, he looks like a great late round pick with a high risk high reward potential.

  • steeltown

    Thanks for all of the hard work Kozora

  • DoctorNoah

    5th round, hub?

  • Douglas Andrews

    This site is awesome great info thanks Dave Alex Mathew and Steeler Depot for keeping us fanatics up to speed.

  • pat

    Hey now lol good call

  • Johnny Loose

    Just watched a highlight video. I know that’s not a good barometer if you’re also looking for negatives, but he was impressive and definitely showed some ability in what i seen. Definitely a project, and we might need him to be on the field sooner rather than later so we’ll see. I like the pick, really do.

  • steelster

    where did you get those tea leaves?

  • Good pick by the Steelers. He should be sold and become a good cb.

  • steeltown

    The next Terry Hawthorne.. or the next Richard Sherman haha stay tuned

  • Jason Brant

    I hate when the Steelers take guys with character issues. Leave that crap to the Ratbirds.

  • Jeff

    It’s always funny to watch the draft blog “experts” get in a tizzy over a 5th round pick… Ya know, since they know all… Obviously the steelers have a plan with this draft that was different than what the public expected. It was different than I expected, but hey, in Colbert and company I trust. They’ve been right much more often than most NFL teams.. I’m just gunna trust that they know what they’re doing.

  • GoSteelerz

    Negatives: Not a fundamental tackler, could take better angles, needs to get stronger, though overall didn’t look as bad as Alex indicated, seems to not hustle on every play especially when the play is not in his area. Positives: Fluid athlete, good in coverage, the effort is there to shed blocks though the results of those efforts are mixed, able to cover in space as well as in tight areas like when he defended that fade route, in looking at another scouting report he has gotten a bit bigger even this past year, so perhaps there is potential for him to get a bit bigger and stronger, especially in a professional program. Overall analysis: If his heart is in it (the coaches and scouts would know better than I, of course) the potential is definitely there, otherwise he will have an unremarkable career if he even makes the roster. Definitely have seen worse from more highly rated prospects. At least we got a corner, lets see if he can become a real playmaker on this defense!

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Hard to get excited about Richardson. I think he’s a year away from contributing in any way. But I hope for the best for him.

    Again, what if we had traded our 4th + 5th + 6th for one of the legit 2nd tier CBs? A guy like Desir or Aikens would be a lot more helpful than 3 “possible back ups”.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    I thought terry hawthorne actually had potential until he got injured

  • steeltown

    Very true

  • steeltown

    Desir and Aikens were both drafted in Rd4, im confused

    All 3 kids, Desir, Aikens and Richardson are projects, they all faced avg competition and will all need grooming

  • Eric MacLaurin

    It sounds like he has the tools to start if he’s ready to work out really hard and is receptive to lake’s coaching.

  • nicolaisim

    Thanks for all the work Alex. Really enjoyed your thoughts.
    Every draft is special but this year was something else and I appreciate the way it was covered by the whole team of SteelersDepot. Good job guys.

  • dkoy85

    If CB was THAT(4th,5th,6th round picks) important in the Steelers eyes they would have addressed it much much sooner than the 5th round. Dennard was there with our first and Desir was there with our 4th.

  • Andrew

    Hopefully he can contribute for at least a few years now that Pittsburgh drafted him.

  • Andrew

    Lucky guess I reckon

  • Thanks for this, Alex, as for all your reports. Really insightful work.

    I don’t know what to make of Richardson. In retrospect, I wish we’d grabbed Desir in the third instead of Archer (if he turns into Sproles 2.0, great, but how likely is that?), or Cockrell or McGill later. But Lake knows this guy and obviously think he has potential / can be coached up.

    I guess the other point to make is that while the Steelers did little to improve their CB situation in the draft, there’s always next year. Maybe they just scuffle with what they’ve got this year, and maybe that’s enough to be a competitive playoff team. They obviously decided that Shazier was the better pick than Dennard, and even if other teams thwarted their plans later on they filled holes elsewhere. I’m a tiny bit optimistic that Richardson develops, but, again, maybe next year.

  • Either Gaines would have been preferable as well. E.J. was available to them at some point.

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