Opening the Day 3 selections for the North Carolina Tar Heels is offensive lineman Asim Richards, who has been selected with the 34th pick of the 5th round (169th overall) by the Dallas Cowboys.
Richards was a three-year starter at left tackle for the Tar Heels, and while he had his struggles his first two years as he worked to learn the position, the arrival of a new position coach, Jack Bicknell, in 2022 did wonders for his play. Richards looked nowhere near pro-ready in his first two years as a starter, but under Bicknell’s tutelage, he became a stronger, more consistent, and more technically sound player, and is now an NFL offensive lineman as a result.
Richards earned All-ACC Third Team honors for his improved level of play in 2022 as he protected Drake Maye’s blind side and allowed just three sacks all year, a feat that’s all the more impressive when you consider that the UNC line as a whole allowed 40. He’s still learning, too; Richards was a defensive end/tight end for most of his high school career before filling out a little and moving to the offensive line, so his instincts at the position are still developing and leave him with a lot of upside. It is yet to be seen whether Dallas intends to try him at tackle, guard, or as a swing backup to both positions — he was announced simply as “OL” by Cowboys social media, so we’ll learn more after camp.
Richards is the 14th offensive tackle (as he’s categorized on NFL.com) off the board and the fifth on Day 3. Our draft profile for him can be found here.
We at Tar Heel Blog congratulate Asim and we’re rooting for his success!