Here, let me help you up. Haha, just kidding. See ya!
The Seattle Seahawks selected wide receiver Paul Richardson in the second-round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Shortly thereafter, fantasy football owners worldwide collectively rolled their eyes with disinterest. After all, ever since the retirement of Hall of Famer Steve Largent, Seattle has been largely known as a place where quality wide receivers dramatically fade into fantasy obscurity. It’s an unfortunate fact, but an important one that has been particularly evident since the beginning of the Pete Carroll/John Schneider era in 2010. Yet, with Pro-Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson entering his third year as a starter in the NFL (and coming off of a dominant 43-8 Super Bowl win over the Denver Broncos), it’s entirely possible that Seahawks Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell could be persuaded to open up the passing game in 2014. That would mean the wide receiver position might once again become a valuable commodity in the Pacific Northwest. Of course, nobody is going to fool themselves into believing the Seahawks will turn from the run-first mentality that has served them so well, but it’s still fantastic news for Seattle’s receiving core.
Naturally, the primary beneficiaries of such a situation (besides Wilson) will be starting receivers Percy Harvin and Doug Baldwin. Both are firmly entrenched as the top two playmakers on the Seahawks depth chart, and their paychecks each reflect that, given Baldwin’s off-season extension. It could even be argued that third-year receiver Jermaine Kearse has earned the first crack at the No. 3 spot receiver job. After all, he had a phenomenal postseason run and clearly earned the trust and respect of not just his starting quarterback, but of his offensive coaches as well. By the time Super Bowl XLVIII rolled around, Kearse had shown flashes of blossoming into a full-blown playmaker.
So it’s fair to ask, with all of the talent surrounding the top of the Seahawks wide receiver depth chart, why should any fantasy owner consider a rookie receiver from Seattle late in their fantasy draft? The answer: Paul Richardson is not just special, he also fits like a glove in Bevell’s system.
Coming from a school as small as the University of Colorado, it’s easy to understand why most casual NFL fans overlooked Richardson heading into the NFL Draft. While Seahawk fans have learned to expect the unexpected from Carroll and Schneider on draft days, there weren’t a lot of analysts projecting Richardson to the Champs. Chalk another one up for the secrecy of the Carroll/Schneider regime. As of right now, it’s unknown if anyone has actually been successful in projecting a Seahawk draft pick over the past four years, but that’s neither here nor there. The point is, this organization always has a vision for each and every player they draft. While that vision may not always come to fruition, Richardson is on pace to be yet another case of “I told you so” for Carroll and crew.
So far throughout Seahawks OTA’s and Training Camp, Richardson has looked every bit the part of a superstar receiver. His acrobatic sideline catches and blazing vertical speed have made quite the impression on fans and bystanders. Being the top overall draft pick for the defending Super Bowl Champs, Seattle has come to expect nothing less.
The young man stands just over 6’0” tall and weighs in at approximately 185 pounds. Based on his stature, speed and playmaking abilities, it’s easy to see why so many analysts have jumped to comparing Richardson to All-Pro receiver DeSean Jackson. Of course, the Seahawks are hoping for a similar impact out of the former University of Colorado star, too. With a legitimate sub 4.4 second 40-yard dash, Richardson has world class speed that translates well to the football field. Additionally, he will not be limited to vertical routes during his time in Seattle. With his ability to run a fairly complex route-tree, Richardson could find himself being used far more often than people may think.
It’s obviously never a guarantee when it comes to drafting a rookie receiver in fantasy football. Often times, however, it can pay dividends, particularly when it comes to Dynasty or Keeper Leagues. Plus, with many fantasy owners worried over the potential injury-concerns of Percy Harvin, Richardson could provide a valuable handcuff at the end of your draft in deeper league’s or potentially on the early-season waiver wire. Regardless of when he is selected, this is a name to remember in the future when it comes to fantasy football.