HA! Gotcha (looking at you Aussie 12th Man)
I really didn't like this pick. Especially when I found out that Cody Latimer was still on the board at pick 45. I was at work you see, so I didn't get to watch the second round. What I knew at the time was that Paul Richardson was a fast guy, sure, and he was tough too, but he was slight, I still worry about durability, and he had some bad drops (mostly focus drops now that I see them myself). So you can see what I didn't like. I've been one of the biggest proponents of Cody Latimer on this site, and seeing him get passed up for a little shrimp? I felt a little gypped.
But then that pesky little thing called curiosity set in and I did some quick research. I knew that Football Outsiders had a stat called the "Playmaker Score" It's a little like SackSEER, but for wide receivers, not pass rushers. So I decided to take a quick look at it, and Richarson was tied for fifth in that score with Allen Robinson. That's ahead of some pretty notable guys: Kelvin Benjamin, Mike Evans, Donte Moncrief, Martavis Bryant, Cody Latimer...who else...oh yeah, that guy Sammy Watkins. He's projected to have the 11th most yards out of all WRs in this draft class (not sure how that works really), and I see some LONG TDs in his future too (John Schneider noted his average score came from 40.05 yards out). I don't know some of the formulas that FO uses, so I can't really explain it, but apparently it's undergone some changes since the last time. It also comes with a disclaimer that it's not the end all be all of WR stats, so take it with a grain or two of salt.
Well, part of the playmaker score is production relative to the team's opportunities, but I know next to nothing about what the Colorado Buffalo(s?) do in any aspect of the game, so I had to look it up. I was amazed with what I saw. Richardson was the entire offense. I'm only slightly exaggerating when I say that. He had 45% of all the team's passing yards, 48% of all the team's passing TDs, and more than a 35% of all their receptions. It's freaking insane what he did on the second-worst team in the PAC 12, with two different QBs. Heck, he had more RECEIVING YARDS than one of those QBs did TOTAL YARDS.
He's got a decent SPARQ as well, but it would be higher if he got bigger (maybe they don't put as much emphasis on weight?), and that's what he's trying to do apparently. I don't know the formula for SPARQ, but if Richardson put up the numbers that he did at the combine (and he likely did something similar when he went to Seattle for a visit at 183 reportedly) at 190 he'd probably be one of the SPARQ-ier players on the Seahawks. He also said that his best time was a 4.28 in the 40, and watching his tape, I believe him. He's incredibly fast, but that's not what I like the most.
Now we get to the real stuff okay? That's the tape. And while it's not the only thing that matters, it's pretty damn important. So we'd better take a look.
First we've got what he does best. Run.
Oh, hi there Speed, what's with the blood on that ax you're carrying?
So that's the obvious thing, but there's a downside to being small and fast, and that's that you're likely going to have a hard time against press cover corners when they can get their hands on you....HA! That ain't happening with Richardson. in theory he'd have trouble when more physical corners get their hands on him, but I can only say that in theory because I still haven't seen one actually do it yet.
Oh hi there Speed, what's with the smoking gun you're carrying?
And the corners just can't get a hand on him, he's too quick.
This also lends itself to route running, He gets off of press, then has plenty of space to work with.
This is an underrated part of his game. He's usually used on deep routes that make use of his speed, and he'll get plenty of opportunities to do that in Seattle, but he can run the quick hitch and get that first down. He can get that yard of separation on the defensive back for those timing routes to work.
And this is just for s**** and giggles
That might be the most separation since calling a Hail Mary against a Field Goal Block in Madden. Seriously, there's no one within 25 yards of the guy.
EDIT: I have found Paul Richardson's song