2023 NFL Draft

2023 NFL Draft Player Profiles: North Carolina OT Asim Richards

From now until the 2023 NFL Draft, we will scout and create profiles for as many prospects as possible, examining their strengths, weaknesses, and what they can bring to an NFL franchise. These players could be potential top-10 picks, all the way down to Day 3 selections and priority undrafted free agents. Today, I will be profiling North Carolina offensive tackle Asim Richards.

#72 Asim Richards, OT, North Carolina (SR) — 6042, 309 lbs.

Combine/Pro Day


Player Ht/Wt Hand Size Arm Length Wingspan
Asim Richards 6’4 1/4”/309 10 34 82 3/4
40-Yard Dash 10-Yard Dash Short Shuttle 3-Cone
5.12 1.77 4.89 7.76
Broad Jump Vertical Bench Press
8’11” 29 13

The Good

— Good size and length
— Lots of experience at left tackle
— Good mobility and lateral agility in pass protection
— Uses length well on speed rusher up the arc
— Strong anchor handling power rushers
— Solid awareness on stunts and twists
— Experience in Gap, Power and Zone run schemes
— Good push on down/double in Power and Gap
— Mobility to pull a lead through holes

The Bad

— Hands aren’t independent and punch timing is adequate
— Can get top heavy when he punches
— Gets wide in his set and leaves the inside open to counters
— Doesn’t get a lot of push on base blocks
— Marginal hand strength to lock onto defenders
— Timing and sustain on second-level blocks
— Room to add play strength
— Aggressiveness is merely adequate


— 2022 third-team All-ACC
— Senior Bowl invitee
— 48 career games, 38 starts
— 37 starts at left tackle, 1 at left guard
— 1,049 snaps, 3 sacks allowed in 2022
— 3-star prospect out of high school
— Was a tight end/defensive end in high school, moved to OL as a senior
— Also played basketball in high school
— Birthday: 10/2/2000 (age 22)

Tape Breakdown

Asim Richards got a late start to becoming an offensive lineman, moving there his senior year of high school. He has taken to it well and showed improvement throughout the 2022 season. He was a fixture at left tackle the last three seasons while blocking for quarterbacks Sam Howell and Drake Maye.

As a pass blocker, he plays with good snap quickness, pad level and solid kick slide to get depth to handle speed rushers. He uses his length well to ride defenders up the arc. Against power rushers, he utilizes good play strength and active feet to reset and present a strong anchor. Occasionally, UNC used jump sets, and Richards has good lateral agility to mirror defenders. Against twists and stunts he displayed solid awareness and smoothly transitioned from penetrator to looper.

Against Notre Dame, he absorbs the initial push and sustains and finishes.

Some samples of his anchor and working up the arc.

As a run blocker Richards has experience in Gap, Zone and Power schemes. On Gap schemes and down blocks, he has good pad level and leg drive to move defenders laterally. He has solid quickness on outside Zone runs and gets his head across the defender. On double-team and combo blocks he gets a good push and is effective on hinge blocks to wall off the outside defender. He has good mobility and the athleticism to pull and lead on Power runs.

Here he gets a great push on the defensive lineman, driving him across the formation.

He has the mobility to pull and connect on the second level.

In pass protection, Richard’s hands aren’t independent. You’d like to see him strike more often with just the inside hand. When he punches, he can get a bit top heavy, and a savvy defender can slap his hands. His punch timing is adequate and doesn’t stun the defender as often as you would like. He is adequate maintaining half-man alignment and is susceptible to inside counters causing him to hook the rusher with his right arm.

Counters to the inside gave him some trouble.

On base blocks, Richards doesn’t generate much movement. His hand strength and sustaining blocks are marginal, and he lets second level defender slip off him. On Combo blocks, his timing is adequate, and he doesn’t break down consistently. There is too much looking around and not enough pick a guy and block him. Overall, his aggressiveness could be turned up a bit and with more consistent pad level that would allow him to drive block more effectively.

Climbing to the second level, he needs to improve on his sustain. It was better later in the season but there is room for improvement.

Hand placement and strength to sustain blocks need to improve.


Richards has good size, length, athleticism, and experience as a left tackle. He has good snap quickness and the pad level and mobility to handle speed rushers and a strong anchor for power rushers. His awareness is good on twists and stunts and has experience with jump sets as well. He played in a running scheme that used multiple types of runs. He is effective on down, double and combo blocks and has the agility to pull in Power schemes.

Areas to improve include overall hand placement and timing on pass and run blocks along with hand strength to sustain. Working more with independent hands and maintaining half man alignment will help in pass protection. Winning the leverage battle on running plays will help displace defenders on the first level. On the second level, he needs to locate and sustain blocks more consistently.

Richards is still growing into the position of an offensive lineman, and you could see the improvement last season. Some teams will see him as a tackle, some will want him to move inside. He has scheme versatility, which will give him more opportunities. Going to a team where he can be a backup for a year will be beneficial to his growth and I think he has a chance to start down the road. Personally, I think his athleticism will allow him to stay at left tackle, but time will tell.

For my comp, I’ll go with a guy I profiled last year, Spencer Burford. He too was a better pass protector with good mobility. Both needed to work on their punch and grip strength. Burford profiled better as guard and found a home starting for San Francisco last season.

Projection: Early Day Three

Depot Draft Grade:  7.4 Rotational Player/Good Backup (4th Round)

Games Watched: 2022 – Vs Notre Dame, At Duke, Vs N.C. State, Vs Clemson, Vs Oregon

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