2014 NFL Rookie Wide Receiver Preview – Paul Richardson
Some great talent coming into the league this year. Tons of teams in need of adding depth and talent outside the numbers. With all the young Quarterbacks that have taken over the league in the past three-to-five years, we saw plenty of teams build their receiving corps through the draft. Lots and lots of big, tall, strong play-making receivers available this year. We can expect to see a ton of rookies make an impact in 2014, just hope your team drafted the right one!
Paul Richardson – WR, Colorado, 6’0″ 175lbs, 32’5/8″ Arm Length
Drafted Round 2, Pick 13, Seattle Seahawks
Combine Results: 4.40 Forty / 38.0″ Vertical / 124.0″ Broad Jump
NFL Impact: With the lose of Golden Tate, Richardson has a shot at seeing some solid time on the field. Percival Harvin is expected to be 100 percent by the start of the 2014 season, Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse is expected to get a bump in playing time as well. The Seahawks are a run heavy based offense with Marshawn Lynch but have a ton of upside in the play action and down the field attack with quarterback Russell Wilson being able to drop back or roll out if need be to keep the play alive.
Richardson was a solid producer over a three year stretch. In 2010, he originally signed with UCLA, but was dismissed by then-head coach Rick Neuheisel after he was arrested for theft for allegedly stealing a female student’s backpack from a storage locker. He moved on to Colorado, where he played all 12 games in the fall, starting 4, and recorded 34 receptions for 514 yards (15.1-yard average) with 6 touchdowns. In 2011, he played only 9 games but all starts, missing 4 October games and was limited the rest of the season with a torn left ACL. Due to the tear in his ACL, Paul was forced to miss the entire 2012 season but came back strong in 2013. Once returned and cleared good to go, Richardson bounced back and lead all CU receivers with 83 receptions for 1,343 yards (16.6 avg) and 10 touchdowns.
The one downside that most have noticed about Richardson is that he is very lean. He does have quick feet and the ability to create separation off the line which helps not having to out muscle defenders usually. He has great top end speed with the ability to accelerate into routes and across the middle of the field. He can stretch the field of run underneath routes with the ability to read the quarterback and help extend plays. He has natural hands with the ability to pluck the ball out of the air and 38.0″ vertical jump, he can leap and win battles for the ball mid-air.
Fantasy Impact: He’s production is likely going to depend on his ability to make plays in the vertical passing game. Harvin likely to be the crossing receiver, Richardson is going to be asked to use his top end speed to take the top off defenses which will also open up running room for The Beast. Richardson is a boom-or-bust candidate this season with the talent ahead of him, he could end up in the 35-45 reception area with 500-650 yards and 3-5 touchdowns. In 2013, Doug Baldwin lead the Seahawks receiving corp with just 50 receptions for 778 yards and 5 touchdowns so even though Russell Wilson is a consistent producer, its in-consistent who he relies on with his ability to spread the ball and find the open receiver.