Arguably the biggest name on the list of former Vols to be in the 2014 NFL draft was not one of the 256 players selected in the three day event. He did, however, find a home not even an hour after the draft ended.
Antonia “Tiny” Richardson, a mammoth offensive tackle who declared for the draft a year early, went from being a 1st round prospect to not even being drafted. He joined Tyler Bray and Darrington Sentimore as Vols who declared early and went undrafted.
Just because Tiny was not drafted doesn’t mean he will be sitting at home this upcoming season, though. Reports announce that Richardson and the Minnesota Vikings have agreed to terms on an undrafted rookie free agent contract. Richardson will join fellow former Vol and former teammate Cordarrelle Patterson on the Vikings roster.
Richardson’s path to an NFL roster is now not a guaranteed one, as undrafted free agent contracts are not as binding as drafted players’ contracts.
It is believed Richardson’s knee issues are what dissuaded teams from drafting him, and he went from being one of the top offensive tackles in the country to sitting at home and having to field calls after the draft of interested teams. Richardson’s career will be interesting to follow, and his knee issues will certainly be closely followed. A roster spot for the former Vol is not guaranteed, but it is encouraging that the Vikings are willing to give him a shot.