KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee offensive tackle Antonio "Tiny" Richardson says he couldn't help but notice how mock drafts after the season showed him falling out of the first round.
"People tell me, and I'm not going to lie to you," Richardson said. "I'm human. Did it affect me at one point? It did. I'm like, 'Man,' because I know I'm better than that. But I'm a man of faith. I just prayed about it."
Richardson, one of four likely draft picks from Tennessee's offensive line, believes his performance Wednesday at the Volunteers' Pro Day should put his stock back on the rise. Richardson wanted to answer questions about his health and explosiveness.
Although Richardson didn't miss a game in two years as a starter, he underwent knee surgery after the 2012 season and said he played at "about 65 percent" last fall.
"That's why I felt I wasn't as productive," Richardson said. "Now I'm healthy. If I was this healthy during the season, (I would have been a) first-team All-American."
Richardson produced a broad jump of 9 feet, 4 inches, and a vertical jump of 31 inches, according to results provided by the school. That vertical jump was a 6 ½ -inch improvement from his performance at the NFL Scouting Combine. Richardson also ran the 3-cone drill in 8.02 seconds and the 20-yard shuttle in 5.06 seconds.
"I tried to show them I was healthy," said Richardson, who measured in at 326 pounds and just under 6-foot-6. "The knock is he's not healthy, his knee's hurting. The stuff like the vertical jump, the broad jump, shows I'm explosive."
ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. said in a teleconference last month that he projects Richardson as a second-round pick. Rob Rang of nfldraftscout.com also has Richardson going in the second round.
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