This is the third in a series looking at the best position tandems in the Big 12 taking into account both college production and pro potential. Today it is the best pair of offensive linemen in the Big 12.
The best: Baylor
The duo: Cyril Richardson and Spencer Drango
The reasoning: NFL Network producer Charlie Yook described Baylor left guard Cyril Richardson as a "living, breathing snow plow," a perfect turn of phrase for the mammoth 6-foot-5, 340-pound All-American. Richardson moves exceptionally well given his bulk, while his endurance has finally caught up to handle the intense pace of the Bears' balanced spread offense.
Richardson has started 29 games over the last three seasons, alternating between guard and left tackle, and it shouldn't be a surprise that Baylor's late-season surge in 2012 came as coaches graded Richardson out at over 90 percent on his assignments over the final five games. He might not be on the same elite level as top 10 draft picks Jonathan Cooper and Chance Warmack, but Richardson is unquestionably the top guard in the game this season.
Richardson gets most of the attention, but Drango was just as important a piece in keeping the Baylor offense rolling without quarterback Robert Griffin III. Drango started all 13 games at left tackle last season and made several Freshman All-America teams for his strong play. Entering his third year in the program, he possesses a compelling mix of strength (34 reps in the bench press) and smarts (first-team Academic All-Big 12 honors in 2012).
Together, Drango and Richardson formed a devastating backbone for the No. 4 scoring offense in college football. Richardson will be at the top of draft boards next May, with Drango sure to get the same attention soon enough.
Next up in this series: Defensive line.