Position: Wide Receiver
40 YD Dash: 4.40
Vert Jump: 38.0
Broad Jump: 124
3 Cone Drill: 7.09
The 2014 NFL draft is features lots of talent at WR. Many are expecting the Jets to draft a WR early in the draft, with Beckham Jr., Cooks, Lee, and Benjamin being the most popular 1st round targets. However, I am a believer in taking the best player available, especially in the 1st round. You draft for the next 5 years, not to fill an immediate need. The good thing is, I believe there are a number of WR’s currently projected to go in the 2nd or 3rd round that can step in immediately and produce as a starter. Paul Richardson is one of those guys.
The first thing you notice about Richardson is his frame. The guy is really skinny. He only weighed 160 during the season. However, I don’t think the weight is going to be a huge issue. When asked about his weight in interview, Richardson mentioned that it’s difficult to gain weight in college without the money for proper meals and supplements. Richardson was able to bring his weight up to 175 before the combine, and was still able to record a blazing 40 time.
I have never really cared all that much about combine performances though. I believe that the tape usually tells you all you need to know about a prospects’ ability. Richardson is very impressive on tape.
Richardson is an excellent route runner. He gives 100% on every play, and never gets lazy with his routes making it extremely difficult for cornerbacks to stay with him. He is explosive off the line, and has elite deep speed making him a good fit on the outside or in the slot. He does a good job getting open underneath and is very dangerous after the catch.
Despite lacking ideal size for a #1 WR, Richardson is not afraid to play physical. His biggest asset is definitely his ability to create separation, but he also wins a good amount of jump balls. He catches with his hands away from his body and doesn’t drop a lot of passes. He also has the ability to make amazing one-handed catches down the sideline like this.
I think Richardson compares very closely to DeSean Jackson, who many people were hoping the Jets would make a run at in free agency. I actually think that Richardson has an even higher ceiling. Although he isn’t quite as fast as Jackson, he is taller and more physical. I think he would be a great pick for the Jets in the 2nd round.