Paul Richardson — the plan, the pick & the tape

May 11th, 2014 | Written by Rob Staton

It’s not often a pick is tipped by an existing member of the team on local radio, but it emphasises Paul Richardson’s fit in Seattle that Doug Baldwin name checked him in an interview on Friday.

Fast forward to 12:52:

I recall hearing this and thinking, “nah”. The Seahawks needed a bigger receiver, not another lithe 5-11/6-0 type. This was all about a jump ball specialist with a great wingspan — and a red zone threat.

That’s where I/we went wrong this year. And it’s why Baldwin wasn’t disclosing any inside information in that piece — he just knew better than us. As a Seattle receiver he knows what they want, what they look for. He admits they’d like to get a bigger receiver, but they also want rare athleticism, shiftiness and a lack of stiffness. Pete Carroll made the same point himself in Friday’s press conference. They love size at receiver, but it’s tough to match up size with quickness.

With hindsight — and every draft is a learning curve — that would’ve almost certainly made Cody Latimer a much less likely option than we thought. Latimer is big and athletic, he makes tough catches and he run blocks superbly. John Elway admitted in an NFL Network interview that Denver loved his run blocking. In many ways he did fit Seattle.

But he isn’t shifty or smooth. He is a little stiff. He doesn’t glide like Paul Richardson.

Any big wide out they’re going to take better be able to move. They can’t take an age to get up through the gears. It has to be initial explosion and not gradual acceleration. They need to be able to explode out of their breaks and get open. It’s clearer now that they’re looking for guys who do it all — not just high point the football and compete.

Ultimately size doesn’t matter. Being something akin to the complete package does. Speed, hands, length, routes, big plays. Even then you need to match it all with the character, drive and determination to fit into Seattle’s intense locker room. The weak won’t survive. Schneider’s said it. Baldwin said it in that KJR interview. Carroll’s taking the ‘always compete’ mantra to a new level. I’ve never heard a team talk so openly in this way before. Multiple warnings that you better go hard or go home.

Schneider pointed out before the draft that they used a lot of visits this year to see how players acted in the VMAC. How did they approach the staff? They had meetings with the club psychologist to test whether they were mentally strong enough to deal with being ‘all-in’. This goes beyond thorough. Schneider suggested it was in part due to mistakes made in the past on players who didn’t have the will to succeed in this ultra-competitive environment.

Again in hindsight you look back and recall listening to certain players speak. Martavis Bryant is shy and awkward in interviews. Cody Latimer isn’t too dissimilar — he’s not a confident public speaker. Then you put on an interview with Richardson. He’s focused and willing to talk. Confident without being cocky. There’s a determined look in his eye.

He appeared on the NFL Network hours before Seattle took him at #45:

You might ask whether it’s too difficult to judge a man’s character based on media interviews. I’d suggest if you’re uncomfortable talking to a middle aged journalist on a practise field you’re unlikely to ooze confidence sat in front of a NFL Head Coach, a GM and several scouts. Richardson filled every criteria — including the character test — and that’s why, according to Schneider, they were willing to take him at #32 without the Minnesota trade.

That’s not to say the pick will necessarily be a roaring success. Not all of Seattle’s ideal fits have panned out. They’ve had some major success stories (obviously) but also a few misses too. There’s a danger sometimes in placing too much faith in what you believe is a perfect fit. Tim Ruskell was so zoned into what he wanted (senior, big school, zero red flags) he forgot the most important thing — adding good players to your team. You can lose sight over what essentially makes a good roster. Pure talent. Seattle’s current front office aren’t anywhere close to Ruskell in terms of vision — but it seems they too are starting to become quite restrictive in terms of what they’re looking for.

The approach to the offensive line is a good example of this. It appears Tom Cable has the ultimate say on who he wants/doesn’t want. And that’s why you see a guy like Justin Britt going in round two. Cable likes his wrestling background, attitude and upside. He likes how he matched up with Jadeveon Clowney. But he’s a player Mike Mayock had in round five based on the tape. If Britt succeeds it’ll validate the plan. If he fails, an offensive line that ranked poorly over the last couple of years could get even worse having lost Breno Giacomini to the Jets. And some would argue there appeared to be more talented players on the board.

It’ll be fascinating to see if they can keep the hit rate going over the next few years.

Yet at the same time, they’re only going after what has worked so far. Ruskell’s vision wasn’t built on a foundation of success. It was just personal preference. Schneider and Carroll are being restrictive because guys like Russell Wilson, Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Bobby Wagner, Doug Baldwin and others are so amped, driven and focused. They live, breathe and sleep football. Searching for more of the same, in this instance, is totally justifiable. Not that they need any seal of approval from me.

*******************************************************

Let’s get into the tape.

Richardson didn’t have much impact against USC in what ended up being a convincing blowout victory for the Trojans. But there is one area I want to touch on.

He’s an excellent route runner as we’ll see later on. But in this game two snaps were a little frustrating. At 0:51 he runs a laboured route, giving it away too easily and almost jogging into the break. The defender has an easy read and he needs to do a better job here selling the deep route before snapping back inside. Get the corner turned. Otherwise he’ll break passes up like this all day.

At 2:09 we see a similar issue. He fails to get separation over the middle and ends up well covered on a crosser. These routes always give an advantage to the receiver if they can sell it in the break. Once again he fails to do that. The quarterback hits him in stride but the presence of the defender behind Richardson leads to a soft incompletion.

This is better:

He engages the route and almost gives the impression he’ll be run blocking. He then darts inside leaving the defender on his heels to get a first down. More of this, less of the routes we saw above.

Cal plays a really soft coverage on Richardson in this game — allowing him to make four easy catches in the first five minutes. The cushion’s too big in zone (see 0:21) and when the corner plays up at the line (0:29) they don’t do anything to disrupt his route. It sets up a deep shot at 1:08 where he gets separation with pure speed down the middle the field. If the quarterback puts a bit more on this it’s a touchdown. Instead it’s just a big gain. But again it really is an appalling coverage job. Enormous cushion, watch him run past you and struggle to recover. Poor defense.

We’ll see later on in the Arizona tape that you just can’t afford to do this against Richardson. If he gets a cushion he’ll just run away from you and find the open spot downfield. This won’t change in the NFL and he’ll draw attention from the free safety on many snaps as a consequence. His big task at the next level will be dealing with press — but there’s also enough evidence on tape where he’s shifty enough to stutter-step and elude contact.

The best play on the Cal tape where he actually wins vs being gifted an easy catch comes at 2:55. Colorado lines up two receivers to the left including Richardson. They both run downfield with #87 getting passed off to the safety by the outside corner. Richardson sticks his foot into the ground and drives to the sideline really doing a good job selling the deep ball. He’s wide open when he makes the catch — and this time it’s on technique and not a terrible defensive scheme.

He also makes a nice sideline grab at 3:53. Good route, nice catch in a tight spot. Just gets one foot in. It follows a failed deep shot on 3:43 where Richardson runs away from the safety and the QB just misses. He can certianly take the top off a defense that’s for sure. Russell Wilson won’t miss shots like this.

There are two plays that really stand out against Oregon (three if you count his touchdown throw at 0:43) and one ugly drop.

First the positives. Richardson’s first catch is another example of solid route running. He starts in the slot and shapes to run to the right sideline. He then turns and runs a go-route downfield. The corner completely bites on the outside move and he can’t recover. Richardson’s wide open when the quarterback throws for a big gain. This is a very technically accomplished play.

At 2:11 he makes a superb one-handed catch. Not only does he track the ball over his shoulder and secure it while leaping in mid-air — he’s also being dragged back on a clear pass interference by the corner. I remember watching this game live and thinking it was a catch-of-the-season candidate.

Sadly there’s a bad drop to even it out. At 3:14 he does the hard part — shaking off the corner with ease and rushing down the right sideline. He’s wide open. The throw this time is on the money. It’s an easy catch for a huge gain. And he drops it. Whether he takes his eye off the ball or hears footsteps I’m not sure. It’s a poor drop. On the plus side the little stutter-step to get open was textbook receiver play — but you’ve got to have that one.

He does have a second drop in the game at 4:08. The QB is hit while he throws and the ball loops kindly to Richardson. Again, he just drops the ball. There’s no excuse because he’s under no pressure.

There were two issues in the USC tape running over the middle. Not so here. At 0:25 he runs a much better route inside creating separation and making a difficult grab. It sets up the kind of play that warrants comparisons to DeSean Jackson.

At 0:38 he’s given a huge cushion and he just explodes into the open space downfield. As soon as the corner turns (his cousin as it happens, Shaq Richardson) it’s over. He has to turn because he fears the go route down the sideline. As soon as Richardson sees the switch he cuts across the middle. The corner can’t recover. This is the D-Jax style play. It’s what he’s famous for. And when he makes the catch he finishes it — running clear into the end zone. Hopefully Richardson will force pro-corners to respect his deep speed in the same way. If he can get them turned, he’ll work the middle. If they don’t turn he’ll beat them in a foot race and compete for the ball. This is a great example of technique and explosive athleticism working together for a big play.

This was a pretty spectacular game for Richardson. At 2:24 he makes an acrobatic one handed catch similar to the one Percy Harvin made against Minnesota last season. It’s tight coverage, he palms it up in the air with one hand and comes down with the grab.

He also hurt his lower leg/ankle in this game and didn’t play most of the final quarter.

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I’m not big on posting highlight videos to show what a player is capable of — it’s a small sample of extremely positive plays. But I also think the four games available online don’t really do his playmaking quality justice.

As you can see he’s a big play artist. The Seahawks love that, along with the speed.

*******************************************************

I can see why they wanted to add a deep threat to the offense. For all his athletic brilliance Percy Harvin has never been a true downfield receiver. He does his damage with YAC and getting the ball in his hands quickly. He’s going to operate mostly in the slot and the backfield — getting the ball on a quick hitter and going to work or using the jet sweep/end around’s.

By adding Richardson you’re adding another weapon the defense has to account for. You’ve got Marshawn Lynch running the ball so do you drop the safety into the box? You’ve got Percy Harvin lined up in the backfield drawing attention. Russell Wilson’s running ability adds another dimension. And now you’ve got a genuine deep threat to keep a defense honest. Until now the Seahawks never really had a true field-stretching playmaker.

He’s probably not going to be a 1000 yard receiver — in the same way Baldwin, Tate and Rice never topped that mark in Seattle. Harvin will get the opportunity if he stays healthy because you’ve got to feed him the ball. Richardson isn’t a production machine in the waiting. But he will make chunk plays and his mere presence on the field will make life easier for the other weapons on the offense.

It’s a thoroughly understandable pick. Not the orthodox split end we expected but the thinking behind the selection is clear.

Positives

– Fantastic speed, glides downfield and has similar physical skills to DeSean Jackson

– Technically gifted, knows how to get the corner turned and use that to his advantage, explosive out of his breaks most of the time

– Catches the ball away from his body with relative ease

– Despite a lack of size he competes for the ball, good leaping ability and clear evidence on tape that he’ll try to high point the football

– Driven personality fits the team

– Even if he’s not making a play, his presence can help keep a defense honest

Negatives

– Doesn’t drop many passes but the ones he does spill tend to be easily avoidable

– Will need to show he can avoid press at the next level, might have games where he’s shoved around and can’t back down, quick feet and shiftiness will help him avoid contact

– Very little experience as a return man so immediate impact could be limited

– Small hands (sub 9 inch) that aren’t the strongest, good ball skills but doesn’t absorb the football

– Even beyond his rookie season, Richardson’s role could be fairly limited if he isn’t making big plays or acting as a decoy

116 Responses to “Paul Richardson — the plan, the pick & the tape”

  1. Cameron says:

    Interesting thoughts Rob. I share some of your concerns and some of your reasons for optimism. I know there is a fair degree of difference between college and pro corners, but I seriously question if press corners are going to present that much of a challenge to Richardson. For one thing, he has seriously quick feet. I would compare them to those possessed by Doug Baldwin. Doug frequently wins release off the LOS because of his quick feet. Richardson seems adept at getting DB’s to commit, sticking his foot in the ground, and accelerating past them.

    We don’t have much to go on, because as you hinted at, Richardson wasn’t pressed a whole lot. I think he might just be too slippery.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Agreed — I’m optimistic he’ll be able to do it. But I also think the league saw Seattle flat out bullying receivers last year. Getting all over them. And he’s going to deal with a bit of that too.

      • Cameron says:

        Yeah, and our db’s our among the best in the league at that, I might add. Interestingly enough, for guys like Richard Sherman, they seem to have more success against bigger WR’s in press coverage (I’m thinking of Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree, etc), and more trouble with the T.Y Hilton and Stevie Johnson’s of the world. It’s easier to square up against a big, slower moving target.

      • Coug1990 says:

        Something I notices was that although he was not a great blocker, he was a willing blocker. For a WR, that is half the battle. Also, since Seattle’s offense is not built on precise timing, getting off the line of scrimmage is not as terrible as it would be in Denver’s offense, for example. With the designed scramble plays that Seattle has, he could be deadly or at least command attention making life easier for others.

        • williambryan says:

          I thought the same thing. He wasn’t pancaking people but he was consistently positioned well and did a decent job. He also got back into an Arizona DB’s face after he got pushed out of bounds, showing toughness. I think being around Percy and the rest of the WR’s he will develop more of a mean streak in blocking as well.

      • Robert says:

        He will learn from the best and beat the rest. Richard Sherman will teach him to use his incredible quickness to beat the press.

  2. Adog says:

    It sounds like he’ll be in the mix for returning punts from one of Pete’s press conferences. Those quick feet translate well to punt returns. I’m curious to see how bevell’s offense evolves with Percy healthy and this new guy on board. I expect the running game to translate into more lateral and horizontal passing plays. We have to make those NFC west dlines run.

  3. Jim Q says:

    I spent like 2+ hours yesterday researching Richardson after the draft and I came up with some of the stuff in this article but not anywhere near all of it. Thanks Rob for putting all of this information at our easy disposal. It is greatly appreciated (and a big time saver).

    I can’t imagine a team more difficult to predict prospects for than the Seahawks, although some of their criteria is becoming more clear each year, it’s always a good guessing game to pick a few prospects out of literally thousands of college players.

    I’m going to hold off on further research of our draft picks, reading this blog and your excellent analysis is much easier. I look forward to seeing your future analysis of our current batch of draft picks and UDFA’s, keep up the great job.

  4. 68FC says:

    Rob, or anyone else, did you have any thoughts about the Colorado qb Liufau? He is a friend of mine so I can’t really evaluate him objectively. Do you think he has a future at the next level?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’ve not really spent much time assessing him to be fair 68FC — but pass on our regards and ask him for an opinion on Paul Richardson.

    • williambryan says:

      I thought there were times where he didn’t look that good and times where he made you say “wow”. I could see him as a backup for a team like ours or Cleveland with Johnny Manziel. Teams that aren’t worried about size and embrace the improvisation.

  5. Darren says:

    It seemed like Russel stayed in the pocket more so last season than in his rookie year, possibly due preserving his health. I may be wrong though it didn’t seem like he was the disciple of Tarkenton as much.

    I bet P-Rich will excel at coming back/ getting open on the bootleg and scramble plays.

    His confidence and mental makeup should blend well with Russ. Also, he is equipped to contribute right away compared to other rookie wideouts we’ve brought in.
    Paul grew up with Marquise Lee and Robert Woods and Petes known paul since his sophomore year of H.S.

  6. Hawksince77 says:

    Rob, awesome article. Thanks.

    One thing I really liked was how on several occasions he ran hard into the endzone when he didn’t have to. Then turned around and tossed the ball to the ref. As opposed to hot-dogging (like Tate on that one occasion) and dropping the ball on the 1 yard line (like Desean Jackson).

    It’s a small thing, but I liked to see it.

    • Arias says:

      I liked it when Tate was hot dogging. It added much needed swagger.

      • Hawksince77 says:

        It was lame and unprofessional and embarrassing.

        • Arias says:

          Without being hypocritical, you’d have to think the same of Sherman too than. I disagree with the antiquated sense of propriety. To each their own.

          • Hawksince77 says:

            No, I don’t think the same of Sherman. I can’t think of one thing he did that struck me the same way. Somehow their actions are different.

            But perhaps you are right, and that makes me a hypocrite.

  7. Stuart says:

    Rob, I have been following you since the end of the 2010 football season when I luckily stumbled across your website. Over the years you have educated me like no one else when it comes to my PASSION, The SEATTLE SEAHAWKS. Thank you for another great season of knowledge.

    HOWEVER, as great as PC/JS are at later rounds, crushed it again this year, they absolutely suck in the early rounds! Richardson was a 3-4 rounder and and Britt is a 4-5 rounder.

    Both may end up as contributors in the future but we passed on SO MUCH TALENT!!!

    I would rather have Ireland call the draft in rounds 1-3 and PC/JS pick 4-7.

    • Michael M. says:

      Would you really “rather have Ireland call the draft in rounds 1-3″??

      Let’s recap the day 1-2 selections of the Miami Dolphins from 2008 to 2013 (Ireland’s tenure as GM) shall we?

      2008 – Passed on Matt Ryan in favor of Jake Long with #1 overall, following a year in which Cleo Lemon lead the team in passing. Round 2 brought DE Phillip Merling to Miami, who managed only 3.5 sacks in 47 games with the ‘Phins. Round 3… Chad Henne.

      2009 – Ireland did manage to pick up a couple of talented CB’s in Vontae Davis and Sean Smith (neither of which are still on the team). This might be more valuable to the Seahawks if we didn’t make a habit of finding All-pro DB’s on day 3. Oh, and their second rounder that season was “QB” Pat White, who is currently playing for the Edmonton Eskimos.

      2010 – DE Jared Odrick has contributed to some degree, though not spectacularly by any means. He was followed by LB Koa Misi. Same story. In the 3rd they took OG John Jerry. The good news: Jerry started 16 games on the Dolphins O-line last season! The bad news: Ryan Tannehill was sacked 58 times, they were 26th in the league in rushing yards, and we won’t even mention that other stuff that happened…

      2011 – C Mike Pouncey selected #15 overall, making him the highest drafted Center since 1993! In fact he was drafted higher than any of the All-pro players at the position; a group to which he does not belong… Max Unger does, and he was #49 overall. In the second round they got RB Daniel Thomas. Pouncey was reportedly directly involved in the controversy that plagued Miami this season, and Thomas has almost managed a season’s worth of quality running back production… over the course of his 3 year career.

      2012 – Ryan Tanehill in R1 (Jury still out). Johnathan Martin in R2. (needs no explanation). Another Plus in Round 3 with the seleciton of Olivier Vernon, who managed 11.5 sacks last year! But they also took TE Michael Egnew 6 picks later (3 pick behind Russell Wilson) who has caught only 7 passes in 2 years.

      2013 – Traded up in R1 to take Dion Jordan, who is already rumored to be on the trade block. They added CB Jamar Taylor, G Dallas Thomas, and CB Will Davis in rounds 2-3. Probably too early to tell with for these guys.

      Just saying… Be careful what you wish for.

      • Arias says:

        Couple items you missed Michael.

        2008 – Kendall Langford in the 3rd who turned into a solid starter on the defensive line who went to the Rams in free agency after 2012. That’s more than can be said of the Seahawks finding starters for the defensive line.

        2010 – Jared Odrick is still a decent starter, and versatile, can play 5/3/1 tech. Again, more than can be said for JSPC track record of finding DL starters. Koa Misi converted into a run stuffing SAM. You can say finding Red Bryant types isn’t a spectacular find, it’s still a good find.

        2011 – Unger’s injury history makes Pouncy preferable. When Unger plays injured like he did a lot of the time last year, he’s really not effective and actually becomes somewhat of a liability.

        2012 – He’s not Wilson, but Tannehill does have promise. It’s not his fault his offensive line has sucked balls. Olivier Vernon has been, as you noted, a straight out stud!

        2013 – Agree on the huge Dion Jordan flop (which they traded up for)

        I still wouldn’t trade JSPC for Ireland in making 1-3 round picks, but Ireland wasn’t as bad of a drafter overall as might be assumed. He was better at mid round finds though IMO.

        • Michael M. says:

          Ya I somehow missed Langford. Good catch.

          Unger is frustrating to watch when not fully healthy, but I think I would still rather have him (still accounting for draft position) than Pouncy, considering all that went on off the field this year.

          • Arias says:

            Agreed, especially taking into account his most recent tweets regarding their latest 1st round pick OL addition. Even if Richie’s no longer there it appears Pouncey will be more than happy to carry his torch in spirit going forward. Pathetic.

  8. chris b says:

    outside of sammy watkins and mike evans i think richardson is the best fit for our offense. he has the speed to contribute in some way as a rookie while he is learning the ropes. he will make life for marshawn lynch and percy harvin way easier. and unless i’m mistaken he missed his sophmore year to injury and only played 2 years of college ball so i think his best football is ahead of him. great attitude good route running and awesome speed whats not to like.

  9. chris b says:

    rob, if i’m not mistaken he came out as junior? what would you project him if he was to come out next year ? maybe top 20?

  10. JC says:

    It would be interesting to look at what distinguishes DJax from AJ Jenkins from Richardson based on their pre-draft tape, productivity and measurables…

  11. Mark says:

    My father-in-law was drafted in baseball (never played.) He says scouts don’t necessarily look for who throws hardest or hits farther, they look for who makes it look easy. Richardson’s combine made me think of this. He looks like he’s barely trying, but not in a bad way.

  12. RJ says:

    He kinda reminds me of Joey Galloway. So smooth. Hopefully he can have a similar impact.

    • Radman says:

      And that’s the element the hawks have missed on offense since Galloway left. He’s not nearly as strong and freakish as Galloway was (who was an absolute physical phenom), but he’s got that field shortening speed and stretch the D ability the hawks haven’t had in a long time.

  13. CC says:

    Thanks again for your work Rob! Great stuff!

    I do see how PR can open up the offense – if he and Percy are on the field at the same time who can they defend on the go route. Add DB underneath with Zach or McCoy, Marshawn in the backfield – there are a lot of options for the offense.

    I think there is a chance that Sid may not make the team if Norwood and PR show up to play. We need to get better in the passing game – conversion and also giving Russell time to throw. I am still concerned about the O-line.

    • David M says:

      rice or Lockette will be on the bubble if Norwood plays well, because he can contribute to Special teams as well, and i believe he is a way better WR than lockette.

      I actually really like norwood a lot.

      wr corp of
      1. Harvin
      2. Baldwin
      3. Kearse
      4. Richardson
      5. norwood or rice ??
      6. Lockette or Matthews??

      the latter half of the WR’s depend on how there camps and pre season games go.

      • polinchhay says:

        He is average at best. Stats don’t lie.

        • polinchhay says:

          He has like 34 rec like 2013 as a fifth your senior.
          Now let’s see how that production translate in the nfl.

        • David M says:

          what do you mean stats don’t lie? do you know anything about Alabama’s offense?

          first they are just like seattle, a Run first team. AJ McCarron only threw for 3000 yards. if you look at there stats, you will see all there WRs have low receptions, the leading WR had only 45 rec for 736 yards, 2nd was Norwood with 38 catches for 568 yards.

          He is so clutch in the big games, 3rd down catches, etc. remember those crucial catches he made in the BCS championship game in 2012 against LSU ?

          he isn’t Sammy Watkins, but he’s one of the most underated players in the draft. check alabama’s offensive stats here http://espn.go.com/college-football/team/stats/_/id/333/alabama-crimson-tide

          • polinchhay says:

            Norwood was not even the best receiver on his team. He won’t make the team, I see average wr at best.

            • williambryan says:

              I think what you mean to say is he wasn’t the best athlete at receiver on the team. Their QB said Norwood was the best receiver on their team or something along those lines. Though I am not sold on him, it’s not because of him, it’s because I wanted Brandon Coleman so bad.

      • CC says:

        Agree with you – special teams will be important. It would be nice if Lockette could get it all together this year. I love what Sid has done – and he’ll teach the new guys how to be pros too.

        • AlaskaHawk says:

          Richardson will likely replace Lockette so he does need to show something in preseason. I have hopes for Rice/Mathews as the big guy.

  14. Wes says:

    So what makes this guy different than Deon Butler? Sounds like they are very similar athletes and players coming out of school.

    • drrew says:

      Production.

      Paul Richardson was essentially the entire Colorado offense. He was the focus of every defense the team played, and he still put up 1300+ yards.

      Deon Butler was one of three WR’s on his Penn State squad all putting up similar numbers. He also had 1200, 1300, and 1400 yard backs he was playing with.

      If size were all that mattered, I’ve got a similar build to Craig Ironhead Heyward, maybe I have a shot.

    • Jarhead says:

      I have to totally agree. He just seems like another quick guy with no other special qualities. Tavon Austin had speed for days but it didn’t translate. Brandin Cooks made the combine look easy and was a physical specimen. Richardson is just another speedy guy to me. Nothing else. Nothing special. And people saying that Richardson is a lock to make the team over a seasoned vet like Rice- who if remains healthy could be a number 1 is just ludictous. The honks really get to crazy over picks just because JSPC make them. Let’s get a grip

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        He’s as smooth as OBJ.

      • CC says:

        You may be right – I guess we’ll find out after training camp, but PR can catch the ball. Lockette was the speedy guy who couldn’r run routes and had to work on catching passes. PR is way better than that.

      • Robert says:

        Some honks really get too negative over picks just because they don’t watch film through the lenses of possibility before posting doom and gloom. No special qualities? Tavon Austin is still struggling to learn the route tree. PR is a very accomplished route runner who sells the fake, sinks his hips and explodes out of breaks. He has great quickness AND great speed. He can create instant separation AND outrun everyone. He has excellent ball skills. He has good character and work ethic. He is smart and articulate – he will be a contributor in the film room. He comes across as very likeable – our DB’s will enjoy schooling him and coaching him up. The dynamic of PR AND Percy Harvin will strike terror in opposing defenses. If the FS abandons the middle of the field, PH only has to run around LB’s. If the FS stays home to help contain PH, then opposing CB better be able to blanket a great route runner, who is quick, deceptive and long strides away in the 4.3′s!

        • John_S says:

          Agree with you in your assessment of PR, he’s a pretty accomplished route runner who will only improve lining up against the Legion of Boom.

          Tavon Austin is totally different than PR, 1) Austin is 5’9 compared to PR 6′ 2) Austin came out of WVU who ran the spread exclusively meaning there was no route tree, no reading of the defense and coverages. PR played under multiple offenses including a pro style attack. He knows how to run a route tree, read defenses and coverages.

          I understand the love for a big WR. I loved Moncrief I wish we picked him up (I wanted Mewhort and Moncrief and the Colts drafted both) but I can see what the Hawks are trying to do.

          If you consider what PC and Bevell talked about last year which was that they love to take shots down the field. They are a chunk play team, the Hawks led the league in chunk plays and they lost their big chunk play guy in Tate.

          They just added a guy who can get them chunk plays.

          Now if teams come up to play the run or to cover Harvin and the bubble screens now you have a guy who can get behind the defense.

      • Steve Nelsen says:

        Why do you call everyone who disagrees with your opinion “honks” in every one of your posts? It comes across as immature and rude.

        • Jarhead says:

          Rib said it best himself up in this post. He states that no one has to completely buy in to every pick that our FO makes and that blind faith is irrational. It’s okay to question them. Honks is term I use for fans who just buy in to every little thing JSPC does because they are JSPC. Seriously read some of the above posts and they talk like Richardson is already DeSean Jackson. Good God get a grip. No one here was even talking about him before the draft and now they think he is the steal of the draft? Oh don’t forget they have to post 9 times on any comment made question the quality of a pick or move. Say what you want about me, but these are the same fans who think that Michaels is going to be the next Adrian Peterson. I made a comment about how someone remarked at his speed being so important- hence the analogy of Tavon Austin. Everyone in the NFL is fast and speed doesn’t matter that much. Can it translate to on field success. So it was read into either incorrectly or not at all. I’m not stoked about the pick, and I’m going to let him play a down of NFL football before I crown him the best deep threat in the league like some. Gee whiz. And his official Combine time was in the 4.4′s. Sorry to burst that bubble.

          • williambryan says:

            Just curious to help people understand your position, how did you feel about Russell Wilson after the draft? As Rob said (and common sense reassures) It’s ok to question things. But don’t you at least acknowledge that Richardson could turn out to be a great receiver, potentially even better than Desean Jackson, considering his head is in a better place (presumably). Isn’t it fair to think that Michael could become a top back in the league because he has unmatched athleticism as a RB and whenever he has touched the ball for the hawks, he has looked crazy explosive? There are no sure things, and whatever picks you would have preferred would not be assured of being better players. If you don’t like Richardson as a prospect that’s fine, if you are upset that the team didn’t draft Brandon Coleman (as I am) that’s fine, but it just seems a waste to get too upset about it.

            • Jarhead says:

              Finally someone writes a thoughtful response. As for RW3, I was psyched. I said before that draft that I didn’t bc are who we drafted as long as it was a true blue Seahawk Q who came up on OUR system, who was OUR guy. The alternative was Flynn. I hated the Flynn signing. He had no business getting franchise money. And I am happy he has been exposed and sent back to the bench where he belongs. As for the current draft and Michael: Richardson has speed. Speed is great. But he is puny, and I think his contribution is limited. He is not a dominant red zone presence and his special teams upside is limited per a scout that Rob mentioned in a previous post. DeSean Jackson was head case and is more athletic IN PADS than anything I have sen from Richardson, AND he is a punt returning demon. Something he actually excelled at in college as well. I think Richardson could be a decent long bomb guy but he isn’t going to be a player that warrants any special attentuon. I see just another fast guy compared to other NFL receivers. As for Michael- do any of us think that with P’S competition mantra that if Michael was worthy of snaps and carries last year that he would’ve been out there? He would have been returning kicks or SOMETHING. But instead they kept him on the bench and ticked away and let Turbin return kicks. That to me speaks volumes. Regardless of potential and that is what he showed in preseason against scrubs. I don’t think they are saving his legs or hiding hin like a secret weapon. Bailey, Bowie, and Willson ALL saw significant paying time so we know if someone is good enough to be out there, they will be. I appreciate your intelligent debate, williambryan.

              • Jarhead says:

                I meant that DJax wa was head case and hence his drop to the 2nd round

                • williambryan says:

                  Definitely, and you listed great points that are undeniable, but there is one kinda big counterpoint. Golden Tate. He was a second rounder that barely played in his rookie year and that ended up working out over time (in that he developed as a contributor). It is puzzling why Michael didn’t play more, and each week it was mildly upsetting for me that he was inactive. I don’t assume it’s maturity issues like perhaps Tate had because he seemed like a good teammate in the real rob report (thats the best access I have…ha ha)

          • David M says:

            who would have been the perfect pick in your opinion and why?

            • Jarhead says:

              Not a perfect pick but I would rather have Bitonio and whoever at 64 than Richardson and Britt. I would have preferred us to stay put and take Bitonio who has much more upside and could be an every down starter at RT and lock up the position and take whatever athletic receiver is at 64 than who we DID take. But we didn’t so we’ll find out who made who when Bitonio, Easley, Latimer, Richardson and Britt all start their careers

              • AlaskaHawk says:

                I would agree with that strategy of taking Bitonio first because we are “supposedly” a run first team even though the stats show the passing game to be much more productive.

                PC implied in an interview that they would have taken Richardson in the first if they had to pick. Luckily Minnesota stepped in and we were able to trade down and get him anyway. He looks good on tape, but I don’t think there is that much to distinguish him from other guys that were taken in that area (like Latimer curse you Denver). We will just see how it all plays out.

                One thing about not playing Michael. Even if he is really really good. By the time we get around to using him we will have lost seasons on the rookie contract. I doubt if any back will make Marshawn’s money. So either he signs cheap (Baldwin???) or he walks (Tate). Not much use for a running back that sits out no matter how good he is – meanwhile Turbin was aweful on punt returns and yardage per carry.

                • Arias says:

                  That’s true. If Michael is really good, then they are definitely not getting their value’s worth by sitting him while he’s on his rookie deal.

      • dj says:

        Verily, your head is a jar.

  15. plyka says:

    If they love this guy that’s good. But I think this article said it all –Richardson is like the other Seattle WRs. Very fast –yes! Deep threat –yes! Talented –definitely! But he is not what this team was missing in my opinion. This team’s MAJOR weakness is the red zone as the author of this blog has pointed out numberous times before. Richardson and Norwood don’t really solve the problem.

    This team is missing that Kelvin Benjamin player. I wish they would have went after Coleman, I mean selecting a FB in the 7th when you could have selected Coleman makes zero sense to me. And Donte Moncreif / Martavius Bryant were both on the board for a very long time. This team loves the SPARQ stuff when it comes to DBs, defensive linemen, LBs, basically every position where they draft excellently. When it comes to WR, I’m not sure why they deviate so much. This team needs one of those athletic freaks that are big WRs, so they can improve efficiency in the red zone.

    This may be why I was th biggest fan of possibly signing that TE from Green Bay in the offseason –his name escapes me at the moment –that’s what they are missing! RIchardson does nothing to solve the red zsone issues.

    • Henrique says:

      You’re talking about JerMichael Finley. He had his neck fused and is still not cleared to play.

      Paul Rich is not the same of our other receivers. He has a kind of vertical speed we didn’t have last year.

      • Jarhead says:

        There are a lot of fast guys in the NFL. Let him prove it will translate to on the field production against NFL DR’S before getting out the anointing oils

        • Jarhead says:

          DB’s. .. Gee whiz

        • Mylegacy says:

          Jarhead – you’re correct in that we’ll have to SEE the results before we anoint. Gotcha.

          Plyka – you say, “Richardson is like the other Seattle WRs. Very fast –yes! Deep threat –yes!…” Actually that “Very fast…Deep threat…” is what we lost when Tate left town. Tate was fast – Richardson is faster. The fastest receiver left on the Hawks was Harvin, and his speed is mostly used to widen the field. Richardson’s “deep speed tool” places him in the very top echelon of NFL “deep speed” threats.

          Seattle now has (with a healthy Harvin) spectacular field widening speed and with Richardson spectacular field lengthening speed. Throw in Beastmode (not to mention Michael’s exceptional speed when he is replacing DaBeast from time to time) and defending against Seattle’s offense just got more difficult.

          Slightly off topic – but I watched the tape of Britt going against the overall Number One Draft Pick and Britt handled him with surprising ease. I think we’ve got a good one there. Let Cable work with the guy and who knows how good he’ll become.

          I’m stoked by this draft and the UDFA’s signed as well.

    • Don says:

      Plyka- I agree 100%.

      It looks like PC/ JS picked Richardson based only on speed, nothing else. Perhaps it was insurance in case Harvin gets injured, but PC said imagine what it would be like having both on the field at the same time. Speed is fine for certain things, but give me someone who is big (6′-2″ +) , muscular, has a larger catching radius, larger hands, and is known for high pointing the ball and is excellent at making the tough catches. This is Latimer, Jordan Matthews.

      Latimer, Jordan Matthews are the type of receivers that you go to in the red zone when the field gets crowded and less space for the track guys to fly by. These guys are more physical and are better blockers.

      I think JS. PC where so blinded by the speed they forget about the tough catches in the red zone. Seattle was one of the worse in redzone conversions I believe, especially after Rice was injured.

      • Don says:

        The only thing that eases my concern is getting Norwood, and he might be that taller muscular guy who has 10″ hands. So all is not lost.

      • Mo Fafflebap says:

        Aargh, I don’t know if I can take much more of this. I went into the draft wanting Cody Latimer, and he was there at 32. He was there again at 40. And again at 45. I was initially shocked and disappointed that we passed on him.

        But I have never been so delusional as to think JSPC “forgot” about him. Really, this is your reasoning? He was at the VMAC! They were blinded by Richardson’s speed? Seriously? They’re going to get to camp this summer and slap their collective foreheads and suddenly realize that they failed to consider what they’ll do in the red zone? They’re paid north of eight figures and this concept eluded them.

        If you saw what Jeff Fisher did last year (which was copied by Arizona and I’m sure will spread throughout the league next season), the Rams boxed Russell in and took the scramble out of our repertoire. Without Percy or a speed threat, teams can stack the box and simultaneously limit our run game and limit our “pedestrian” receivers. You need to stretch the field and diversify your threats before you consider the red zone. If you listened to the front office comments after selecting Richardson, this is exactly what they were telling you. Not only will a deep threat take a safety out of the box to help Marshawn, but it will help Percy with his underneath routes.

        Again, I like Latimer. But he looks like a better version of Kearse, or a bigger Tate. We don’t have an analog for Richardson. It was the best percentage play. It was the correct pick at 45.

        • Don says:

          Obviously I am exagerating, but it appears they put a lot of weight in the speed of Richardson, and his psych results. Physicality, blocking, consistant hands, 6′-3 height and a large hands and large catchign radius are a lower priority.

          I am just saying Latimer posseses all of these things and was one of the fastest recivers in the draft as well. To me, theses other traits woulld have out wieghed the speed trait.

          We will see when the Hawks play Denver this year, hopefully twice.

      • lil'stink says:

        Richardson is also a good route runner and has good hands. This decision was not based on speed alone. Our offense loves to take shots downfield, but we haven’t had a very legit deep threat. Remember the game against Arizona last year that we lost at the CLink?Richardson is that deep threat that could have made a huge difference in that game. There’s aslo the comment about how he should be a good fit in the locker room, a point that should be emphasized.

        I would imagine that Rice will see most of his snaps in our red zone schemes.. Willson might get more snaps as well. Matthews could be a wildcard, but as it looks now he probably has a tough road to even make the roster. Norwood could be effective in the red zone as well for all we know.

      • plyka says:

        Yeah, no doubt about it. I am happy that Pete and Co are attempting to fix this problem with FAs (the guy from Canada, Jermichael Finley, etc), but this draft with all the talent at the WR position, was the perfect place to really make an impact. If not with a WR then with a TE. Some on this board like Britt, but he doesn’t look good to me. He is a plodder like Moffitt in my opinion. Why not trade back in the 3rd and possibly get a 4th + a 5th so you could draft Britt + a Martavius Bryant? Obviously it’s not this easy, but I think they over-reached on a number of players, Britt being the #1 over-reach in my opinion. In fact, if I had to pick between Great Scott and Britt, I would rather have Great Scott. He is an incredible athlete, with the coaching of this team, I have no doubt that he will make quite the splash.

        • AlaskaHawk says:

          Based on national rankings we could have got Britt in the 4th pretty easily. I’m sure Robs next article will refute my position. PC said there was a run on right tackles right after the pick. But those were ranked right tackles like Moses.

  16. David says:

    why does everyone think a big guy is what the offense needs?? didn’t have one all last season and things turned out fine. yeah there were some tough times, but i think a lot of it had to do with play calling, and Pete’s “never turn the ball over” ingrained in russell’s brain. (i think russell’s passing took a step back from his rookie season. HE just dosnt get to take chances it seems like)

    there is a lot more ways to scoring TDs than just throwing fades and jump balls to tall receivers, short guys can make it work too

    take the Super Bowl for example, ( keep in mind these receivers are 6-1 or less) Kearse ran a simple in route,, scored, baldwin found a hole in the zone,, scored. remember the minnesota game when russell hooked up with doug in the back of the end zone while he was double covered? or the fade during the atlanta game to Tate?

    i think we all got to caught up on Bigger = better. i mean yeah, its great to have a tall guy, but these short guys can make some great plays as well

    5’10 Doug Baldwin Td catch against Minnesota, notice how he highpoint the ball http://prod.www.seahawks.clubs.nfl.com/videos-photos/videos/Doug-Baldwin-19-yard-touchdown-catch/aed7e4d9-de97-4079-bce7-9821bd6076ab

    5’10 Golden Tate TD catch against falcons http://www.seahawks.com/videos-photos/videos/Golden-Tate-one-handed-touchdown-catch/73bce04c-0f09-40f9-9732-b0e79571e594

    • lil'stink says:

      I think the catch Baldwin made against the 49ers in the NFCCG is another great example. The one where the ball glanced of the fingers of the defensive back, who was right in front of Doug, affecting his field of vision.

    • plyka says:

      This is a great team, it won the superbowl. But that doesn’t mean that there are no weaknesses. THe most obvious weakness in my mind is the inefficiency in the red zone. In the red zone where the field is shorter, height, size and strength become more important.

      You bring up some examples when our WRs scored TDs. That’s great. But every team, even the worst, can bring up specific instances of success. The important factor is taking efficiency overall. If you shoot 25% from the free throw line, and you’ve shot 100 free throws, then we can all say: on March 3rd he shot 3 free throws perfectly, on April 14th, this guy shot another free throw good, etc. But overall they are shooting 25% –out of that 100, 25 of them went in. It’s still a horrible inefficiency that this fake basketball team needs to fix.

      • CC says:

        Really good points. Red zone is a problem – one of the ways you solve it is by using the space before you get to the red zone. We should remember McCoy is back too – he was a nice target 2 years ago in the red zone.

        IMO – they want to score more points and have a more efficient pass game. They want to do it with speed and space. Having Percy back and having a guy who can beat the safety deep opens it up. They want more of the Sidney winning reception in the NE game from 2 years ago. We didn’t have many of those this year.

        • David M says:

          Re Sidney long TD passes, that’s exactly what I was thinking. I want way more of those this coming season

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        I have gotten to the point where if they throw a long bomb and get tackled on the 5 yard line, I just figure we will get a field goal. Our offensive line can’t push the ball in to save their lives. Hope it gets better next season.

  17. CA says:

    Rob, awesome stuff as always.

    I see PR as a great back up for PH, based on the thought that I think they can do a lot of what they do with Percy with Paul. Both have speed to burn and stretch the field in any direction. Norwood looks like a guy Russell can throw the ball up to with relatively good size at 6’2″. Love the additions, trusting the FO on them.

  18. CA says:

    Rob, awesome stuff as always.

    I see PR as a great back up for PH, based on the thought that I think they can do a lot of what they do with Percy with Paul. Both have speed to burn and stretch the field in any direction. Norwood looks like a guy Russell can throw the ball up to with relatively good size at 6’2″. Love the additions, trusting the FO on them.

  19. Steve Nelsen says:

    Norwood was a steal. His prowess at finding space when plays break down and making the difficult/ clutch catches will fit in perfectly with Wilson. He may have more of a 3rd down/special teams role I 2014 but he is a potential #2 starter. I think he replaces Tate.

    I see Rice and Matthews in competition for the big split end/red-zone role. I thought this was an area where the Hawks would add another competitor in the draft (Bryant, Moncrief, Coleman). It seems clear Coleman failed his physical and wasn’t on the Hawks board.

    I think some of the surprise (and in some cases anger or disgust) many of us experienced at seeing the big receivers (Moncrief and Bryant) and Lattimer passed over for Richardson is a natural result of a psychological effect known as the “confidence bias.” We are so confident that a particular player will succeed that we overweight their value. We “fall in love with a player” in scouting terms.

    I think if Rob had posted analysis about Richardson ahead of time and mentioned him as a potential #1 pick, many of the non-scouts among us would have seen this pick differently.

    Evaluating Richardson is also harder for a fan because it requires imagining new offensive schemes which we haven’t seen. Coach Pete and John Schneider believe that he will expand the field and expand the play book. I don’t know if it will work but I am looking forward to seeing some explosiveness in the passing game and special teams with Richardson and Harvin.

    • Germpod says:

      Steve, brilliant post!

      I think if we had been being told he is a unique talent and was a 1st or 2nd round guy, that we would be happier with the exact same player. I am excited to see if he excels with the Hawks or not.

      • Jake says:

        Exactly Germpod! I was one of those that said “Richardson??, but Latimer is still on the board!!!” during the draft. But I went to the video and watched how much more wide open Richardson is than Latimer or Moncrief on his plays. His route running, coupled with his speed is unmatched in this draft class. He IS UNIQUE. Fastest WR in this draft and he makes highight reel catches (some concentration drops too). His hands remind me of Brandon Lloyd, both in a good and bad way. For as fast as Latimer timed in the 40, he doesn’t play at lightning speed like Richardson. He is a truly unique prospect that we are going to fall in love with during the preseason. Personally, I have gone from “who?, but Latimer…” to “thank god PC and JS got this guy” after watching his tape and comparing it to what we like to do. He is special, and we still got Norwood to do the big guy stuff…

  20. EranUngar says:

    I can’t tell you if either Richardson or Norwood will be a great hit or a huge miss. I can see what you all see and I’m very hopeful but i do my best not to get too attached yet.

    My main cause for optimism is everything i hear from this FO regarding mental compatibility.

    As a coach in another sport i can tell you the following -

    A coach knows which of his players respond best to praise and which needs to hear you shouting. Which player thieves most when his place and position in the team is secure and which gets better with competition. There are great players of either type but they can’t be treated the same way.

    A smart coach will adopt his one on one attitude when dealing with different players but a team identity can not be changed to accommodate individuals.

    So, you take a talented college player and add him to a team. This college player has faced a few hard opponents during his year but in most cases did better against most players or he would not be picked. The hardest opponent he met all year is one level below the players already in the roster. He will now have to join this group; the SB champions no less and beat someone for a job. He enters a group with self confidence, swagger and attitude. They are the best of the best on top of their game. That’s the caliber of guys you will compete against 6 days a week for as long as you are here. Do you all get a bit nervous just reading it? Think about that 21 y.o. rookie.

    Each of those wide receivers need to compete for a job against the likes of Harvin, Baldwin, Krease, Rice and Lockette…while being guarded by Sherman and Thomas.

    If any of them was hoping for a “Hi, don’t worry about anything, we drafted you to be a starter on this team so just concentrate on working hard and send tickets to your friends and relatives to come watch you play against Green bay” they are the wrong guys for us.

    Not being able to cope with what they are going to face will eclipses all their physical qualities. This is the clear and immediate danger to their future as Seahawks. Finding the right candidates to be able to buy in and perform in that environment may be harder then finding a 6-4, 4.40 39vert receivers.

    They always said they look for special qualities in their picks.

    Acknowledging the mental qualities publicly and picking the players with the obvious character and mental intangibles that will enable them to showcase their physical qualities is my main reason for optimism.

    I start to think they especially value players who have also showed their ability to face adversity either physical (injuries etc.) or emotional and never lost their spirit or “fire”. So many after injury picks should drew attention.

  21. Jeff M. says:

    I think Richardson makes the most sense when you remember Pete’s focus on explosive plays–and it really seems that he may have been the single most explosive receiver in the draft.

    For his college career PR scored every 7-8 times he touched the ball, and in his final season he had 10 TDs with an average length of almost 50 yards!

    Remember that any wideout we added would see maybe 3-4 targets per game in the best case–we just don’t throw that much and when we do we spread it around–it looks to me like we got the guy who’s the biggest threat to score from anywhere on the field in those few plays.

    • koz1 says:

      I think Richardson is the player FO felt they could work with best. The others may have had better measurable and ratings but the front office has gotten more refined in the attributes they look for in draft picks over these past years. They believe that most of their ‘failed’ picks were more to do with heart and desire than talent. We shall see, but if the clay is there and the desire is in the heart of the players than the coaches will hopefully work their magic. Also I think that the patients seems to be over for our receiving folks. They will not wait for a tate to blossum and become a better route tree receiver. It looks like they went with speed and refined technique and not size strength and talent. We should be able to get all of these guys to polish and banish there skills and the guys that need to get stronger should be able to become thst. Those that need to get bigger or lose weight can do so but only if the guy will really committ to it. It appears that Carp either was hurt or did n o t apply himself so it did not work out. So we still pick players who may not have been picked as high as others but now more effort goes to their heart and drive rather than their ranking. Our FO is very unique and let us see how our receivers stack up to the others we could of had.

  22. pkgoode says:

    “You might ask whether it’s too difficult to judge a man’s character based on media interviews. I’d suggest if you’re uncomfortable talking to a middle aged journalist on a practise field you’re unlikely to ooze confidence sat in front of a NFL Head Coach, a GM and several scouts.”

    Marshawn Lynch must be of pretty low character, then. The coach, the GM, and the scouts are on the team — the journalist is essentially an interloper with a different agenda.

  23. chris b says:

    good post eran. most hawk fans are so mad because the hawks didnt take some of the prospects that have been hyped on this blog or some others. i dont think the hawks felt that bryant or moncrief would have the mental makeup to fit in to our locker room . if paul richardson weight was 190 lbs or 195 i think most people probably been estatic. or if rob had talked about him all offseason.

  24. chris b says:

    i don’t know if he will work out or not , but i know he checks all the boxes for a good wide wr in the nfl except for the weight. which he is working hard to put on good weight.

  25. Steeeve says:

    Just a theory, but do you think that missing out on Easley made Schneider question himself as to when players would go?

    In the past, Schneider’s been very good at prognosticating when a player is set to go and scooping him up at the right time (waiting to pick Wilson in Round 3 when he would have taken him in Round 2; getting Irvin in Round 1 supposedly just before another team would have taken him, etc.).

    If the draft room was visibly disappointed that Easley was gone when they’d expected him to last to 32, perhaps the Hawks “reached” on some of the other guys because Schneider was worried he’d get jumped for guys again?

    As far as Britt goes, I wonder if they would have preferred him in the third or even the early fourth round but, not having a third, had to take him when they did because they weren’t confident he wouldn’t last 44 more picks. With Breno gone, everyone knew they were in the market for an OT somewhere in the top half of the draft.

    • Arias says:

      With Easley I think they were just getting excited that he appeared to be within reach as he was still on the board as they were getting close to selecting, not necessarily that they were expecting him to be there when they picked. I don’t think they would have expected Donald to drop to them either, but if he was two picks away I’m sure they’d be getting pretty damn excited about the prospect of picking him.

      With Britt it’s almost like they said, “Ok Tom, this is your pick, have at it”, and TC went after Britt.

    • James says:

      Danny O’Neill of 710 radio just said that he had definitive inside information that Easley was NOT on the Seahawks draft board R1 and was not going to be their pick at 32. The brouhaha in the war room had nothing to do with the Patriots picking Easley, he said. O’Neill was absolute that he knew for certain that the pick was never going to be Easley, and that Richardson was their guy. The reports about Easley are false, and Danny is a solid reporter and this info is convincing. So, we need to get off this narrative.

      It never made sense that the Seahawks would invest their R1 pick on Easley or any other DL. Their two glaring needs in R1/R2 were SE and RT,and that is who they wanted and who they picked. Rob and many on this board were completely accurate in projecting SE and RT, it was just that we did not identify either Richardson or Britt. Rob has made a very good argument about how we missed these particular players. But, the need for a SE to force the opponent to alter their D, which Richardson can do with his speed threat, explains the pick. We just could not see that Richardson is a SE, and not a Percy clone. Speed is the determining factor, and the ability to run the deep routes. Britt was simply Cable’s guy (along with Mewhort, apparently). Britt was superior to Moses and Turner, based on his good feet and grit. It is very important that Britt be ready to play, and play well, by game 1, even if Bowie wins the job.

      • James says:

        Since the allegedly intense discussion in the war room near pick 29 was not about Easley, we can reasonably guess that the discussion was about whether or not to accept a trade offer down into R2, and whether Richardson would still be there. Perhaps it was a debate over whether to accept the Viking offer (which they did accept) or maybe there were other offers for even later in R2? In any event, it was not about Easley.

        This is nearly identical to the situation a couple of years ago, when we saw a brouhaha prior to the Wagner pick and falsely assumed it was an upset over Kendricks being picked and the Seahawks haveing to “settle” for Wagner, when we later found out that Wagner was their guys, and the intensity was over whether or not to pick RW in R2 or wait until R3. John wanted R2, and Pete wanted to wait until R3, and Pete won and was of course right.

      • James says:

        fwiw….how these incorrect reports like the one on Easley get out is often like this: a team makes a pick, and someone on that team receives a call from someone in another team’s front office or scouting staff who tells them that either they were going to make that pick, or we liked that guy at this spot too. The drafting team then tells a media insider, as a way of justifying the pick, and then it gets reported, and then it is off to the races, being re-reported over and over, until it becomes a “fact.” The Seahawks do this….someone with Seattle told a media person after Britt was selected that one of their scouts was called by a scout friend with another organizaiton, who said “we were about to pick that guy.” This may be exactly true, or it may just be friends confirming decisions to each other. I guess that someone from the Seahawks told a contact with the Patriots that “we really like Easley there.” …and this soon becomes, “we were going to take him R1 also.” Danny O’Neill insists that his source is 100% and Easley was never going to be the Seahawks pick R1.

        • Arias says:

          That and coupled with the the live feed from the draft room after the Easley pick made it appear pretty compelling.

          But if O’Neil says his source is 100% then I’m more willing to lean that way since I don’t see any reason for Schneider to deny it now that the draft is over. He’s pretty much admitted to a guy they wanted went 3 or 4 picks before Small. Still think the Seahawks liked him if he were still around in the 2nd round.

          But yeah, given the Patriots draft record in the recent past, I’m not surprised they would want to lean on a rumor that the Seahawks would have taken him as a PR route. As soon as they started getting slammed for taking a guy with two ACL injuries they were able to tell Rapaport, “well the Seahawks were ready to take him” and they are given instant benefit of the doubt. :) Maybe it gave them leash to blow their 2nd round pick on Garrapolo, who knows.

          I remember the Seahawks using that PR stunt when they got a lot of backlash from taking Carpenter so high too.

          • Rob Staton says:

            One reporter says one thing. Another two reporters say another. Don’t see the point in wasting any time on it to be honest. Easley’s a Patriot and we’ll never know the absolute truth on what went on.

      • CC says:

        When Cable said the guy they were looking at “went early” I wondered if he meant J James – guess we’ll never know.

        • Arias says:

          Exactly. I’ve seen a lot of people saying it was Mewhort. But Rob’s case that it was James is pretty compelling too. I wish one of the radio guys would ask Cable, I bet they could find out who it was they liked.

  26. lil'stink says:

    Once the intial shock of “who?” wore off I realize that I love this pick. Only time will tell if it was a good move, as with any draft pick. I think having a legit deep threat for this offense will open up things all over the place. PR’s impact won’t just be in his individual stats.

  27. Ed says:

    Richardson was drafted to spot Harvin and then take Harvins place so that we can get rid of Harvin (in 2 years) and save some cash

    Norwood will take Kearse or Baldwin spot

    Cable likes Bowie and Bailey a lot

    Marsh can be Leo or replace Avril

    Pierre Louis can replace Wright after next year

    In 2 years:

    WR – Norwood/Kearse/Richardson (save on Harvin)
    OL – Bailey/Bowie/Britt (save on Unger and Okung)
    DE – Marsh/Williams/Hill/Bennett/McDaniel/Scruggs/Boatwright (save on Avril, Mebane and Irvin)
    LB – Pierre/Wagner (save on Wright and Smith)

    • Dregur says:

      No, Richardson has different skills that Harvin. He is a deep threat that can go over the top and presses defenses vertically. Harvin stretches the defense horizontally, using his speed and quickness in open space. Other than being both fast, their skill sets are quite different.

  28. Arias says:

    Wow, Dolphins fans are trashing the Ju’wuan James pick. Even Peter King calls him a ‘long shot’. They should be thrilled with getting a tackle they can plug in immediately at right tackle after a year where their QB was sacked 58 times.

  29. James says:

    Fellow 12’s…this is going to be one helluva team! Look at the players being added to the Super Bowl champions. These are guys who did not play at all last season, or who played minimally and did not really contribute to the wins.

    Percy Harvin (2 KRs, 2 jet sweeps, 1 reception)
    Greg Scruggs
    Christine Michael
    Benson Mayowa
    Korey Toomer
    Jordan Hill
    Jesse Williams
    Tharold Simon
    Michael Brooks
    Anthony McCoy
    Spencer Ware

    ….add to this, the 15+ draftees and UDFAs, of whom probably at least 5 or 6 will be bulls-eye hits based on past experience. In addition, guys like Bowie, Bailey, Shead and even Bruce Irvin are poised for a much greater impact ….these guys will more than make up for the loss of Golden, Brenno and Clem.

    ….the three NFC-West teams have really improved their D, so the addition of Harvin and Richardson will be especially important to provide more octane to our O. Despite all the solid additions to our rivals, Harvin is by far the biggest addition of any player to any team in the West.

    ps – if we keep 6 WRs, and 4 are Harvin, Baldwin, Kearse and Richardson, it will be a battle royale between Rice, Lockette, Matthews, Price and Norwood for the final 2. Other positions battles to watch: Michael vs. Turbin; Bowie vs. Britt; Pinkins vs. Simon; Jeffcoat vs. Mayowa; Marsh vs. Brooks; Ware vs. Small; Willson vs. McCoy…training camp can’t come too soon.

    • Robert says:

      That’s what I have been saying. I think our offense will be much more explosive and the speed at WR and 2nd year Willson will really open up our Beast game. I have a lot of optimism for much improved OL play, as well.

      • James says:

        OL should see the biggest improvement….as it needs to be. Got to keep RW upright. In retrospect of the season, it is amazing that the Seahawks won all those ugly games with the OL injured. Any one of those games, if a loss, would have cost home field advantage, and possibly (probably) the Super Bowl. How they won a half dozen games without Okung, Unger and Giacomini is remarkable….great tribute to Cable and the O Coord.

  30. Saxon says:

    Does our front office discount injury history? Christine Michael had a knee injury in college and both Richardson and Britt have had knee injuries in their collegiate careers. Of course, any player can get injured at any time but it seems there is a recidivism rate for previously injured players that predisposes them to future injury. I’ll check to see if there are any statistics to prove that.

    I’m especially concerned about Richardson’s ability to hold up in the NFL. He is a stick and a high injury risk, imo. I know that his goal is to add muscle but he is thin everywhere. His shins, arms and ankles look like toothpicks. It does not surprise me that he was injured in college and he is going to get hit a lot harder in the pros. Nice player, but can he hold up?

    • James says:

      …if guys from James Carpenter, 6-5, 340, to Greg Scruggs, 6-3, 290, to Paul Richardson, 6-0, 170 can have an ACL, I don’t believe it is related to size. Also, ACLs are not the issue they used to be…the recovery time is generally 6-9 months now, with full recovery afterwards (Adrian Petersen). The Seahawks scout did say that the team looked carefully at the issue of Richardson’s weight, and found any number of lightweight WRs who have held up (DeSean Jackson, Donald Driver, Marvin Harrison, etc). I will be interested to hear about your research into recidivism….my impression is that ACL repairs now (in pro athletes generally using cadaver ligaments) leaves the knee stronger than pre-injury.

      • Radman says:

        I’ve never found this connection of slight build to injury risk very convincing. I’m just not sure it exists in anyplace other than our imaginations and what we ‘imagine’ a strong, durable player looks like.

    • David Ess says:

      I dont have a quote, but i believe it to be in one of the pressers after one of the draft nights. PCJS go for players that have over come some sort of adversity, in their time. i cant recall the quote but i know i’d heard it.

      • EranUngar says:

        I said thew same thing -

        Overcoming adversity (coming back from serious injuries and playing through the pain) and obvious leadership skills – team captains etc.

        I think those cover 8 of our 9 picks…

  31. Jim Q says:

    IMO:
    The Seahawks place an unusual amount of importance on the “mental” aspects of the players they are evaluating. We all know about “buying in” & “always compete”, “the team comes first”, and the importance of something called “grit”. However, it would seem there are even more mental aspects they look at in their evaluations, quite possibly a bunch more than other teams.

    I’m starting to believe that the Seahawks have to dig pretty damn hard to find players that not only have the physical qualities desired but also the mental abilities that they prefer, thus leaving many of us fans “in the dark”. Obviously, physical aspects of a player can be enhanced through good coaching, diet, repetitive drills, etc., etc.. The negative mental aspects of a player’s make-up may not always be all that correctable.

    In this years draft, Clowney, the #1 overall pick who had all of 3 sacks last year. Incredible physical tools, but IMO he likely wouldn’t pass the “always compete”, “team first” or “buy in” Seahawk mental requirements to ever be what all the talking heads say is a “once in a generation” pass rusher. I predict he’ll possibly be an “I’m entitled” Diva at best and maybe even a bust and it won’t be because of lack of physical tools, but lack of having a team first attitude and the mental capabilities to be great that the Seahawks covet.

  32. Philip Wohlstetter says:

    Richardson is the deep threat we haven’t had. Putting him on the outside with Percy in the slot is a nightmare. Who is the other team going to double? Even as a decoy, he opens the field for us. But I think that, given his value to the offense, the idea of using him as a kick returner is insane. That’s where he’s likely to get hurt: being hit by a thumper on special teams rather than a corner or a safety downfield. He is incredibly slender, and even with extra weight and muscle, it’s not worth the risk to subject him to that kind of pounding. Save him for the seven or eight plays from scrimmage where he can change a game. For punts, go with Doug Baldwin: tough, sure hands, great instincts.

    • Arias says:

      I think they’ve said they plan to try him as a punt returner. I think they’re happy with Harvin returning kicks.

      • James says:

        Punt returner is going to be interesting. The default choice is Doug Baldwin. The only DB I could imagine would be Lane; a couple of the backup DBs have some experience, but probably won’t make the team. Christine Michael is a runner and not a catcher, though I would love to see him at it…can you imagine? That leaves Kearse, Norwood or P-Rich. I’m guessing that Norwood would be the most reliable after Baldwin. Reliability is the most important factor; I was worried about Golden Tate, because he had the occasional muffs in his few past attempts, but he did exceptionally well. Shows you what a lot of practice can do. Richardson would of course be the most electric, but he seems too slight to take so many unprotected shots.

        • James says:

          * Norwood was not the PR at Alabama. That was Christion Jones, who is all-world at it. He is so good that Saban had him returning punts in the Nat’l Championship game as a true freshman.

      • Philip Wohlstetter says:

        Punt returners is what I meant to write. Too risky for him.