Paul Richardson   WR   Colorado

TALENT BOARD ROUND 3

STRENGTHS
Paul has some excellent receiver skills to work with for the team that selects him. He is a terrific route runner and is one of the smartest receivers in this deep class of receivers. He has great speed and is very fluid with surprising ability to eat up the cushion most defensive backs have to give him because of his ability to get deep. He has good hands and can catch the ball in traffic and will fight for the ball in the air. He is smart and knows when to sit down against zone coverages to get open. Paul gives good effort when he attempts to block and looks to be a good teammate. His ability to read defenses and run routes is more mature than most receivers coming out in the draft. Paul has the ability to be a productive impact player for the team that selects because he can break the big play at any moment in a game.

CONCERNS
There are some issues that will stop Paul from becoming a starting receiver in the NFL. He will need to get a lot stronger to deal with a 16 game schedule. Right now he looks like a stick figure running down the field and making plays. He does very well catching the ball in traffic as long as he knows exactly where the double team is coming from so that he can get set and not take the big hit. If he is not sure where the safety is, he will peek, lose concentration and drop balls thrown to him. That means if you throw him the deep ball he has to beat his man and be free of a safety hit or he struggles to make a play. Nevertheless, Paul is a tough kid and he will take the hit, but he also is smart and knows that at his size taking a big hit is not the smartest move he can make on the field. In his defense because he is such a good route runner and reads defenses well, he will get himself open on the deep ball and make a great catch often in spite of his cautiousness.

BOTTOM LINE
If Paul can bulk up and not lose his speed and quickness, there is no reason why he canít be a starting receiver for the team that selects him in this draft. The problem is that Iím not sure he can do that without losing some speed. He catches everything thrown to him with players hanging on him, but he wants to know where that safety is all the time and as long as he knows where he is and has the time to cover up, Paul is as good as any receiver in this draft. He will catch the ball against double coverage as well as anyone, but when he goes across the middle or goes deep, he reads that safety and knows if he is going to get hit before the ball is out of his quarterbackís hand. Iím not suggesting that Paul doesnít have the mental toughness to go over the middle and catch the ball. Iím suggesting that he is smart, maybe smarter than his quarterback in reading defenses, knowing what routes and plays will work against a defense and, in being that smart, he knows when to give up his body to make a catch and when it doesnít make sense to give up his body. Right now Paul is a third or fourth receiver who you bring in to go one on one. The problem with selecting Paul is that he wonít be able to give you much on special teams because of his lack of bulk, but I bet if he is on punt returns he would impact. Paul might not be selected very early in this draft, but I think in a limited role he can be an impact player with the ability to become a starter in the future if he can gain some bulk and strength. He is smart and when he played against the tougher competition he was physical and productive and did not get intimidated. He works hard during a game to impact and he will do the same at the next level. Iím not sure what round Paul will be selected but I do think he has the talent and skills to impact.

Drew Boylhart
APR/2014