By Brady Henderson
Paul Richardson never weighed more than 161 pounds during his final season at Colorado, which is downright puny for an NFL wide receiver.
It’s hardly unprecedented, though.
So when the Seahawks were evaluating Richardson before ultimately selecting him in the second round, something that helped allay their concerns about his size was a list compiled by a personnel member of the receivers who had successful careers despite weighing less than 180 pounds when they entered the league.
“It’s like a who’s who,” general manager John Schneider recounted when he joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Danny” on Monday. “Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Tony Martin. It’s like a litany of names and we’re just like, ‘OK, he’s got broad shoulders and he’s probably going to end up being about 190 pounds.’ “
Richardson said he’s up to 183 pounds since last season, and the Seahawks feel confident that the added weight won’t cut into the speed and quickness that are his most notable traits. There were times throughout Richardson’s career at Colorado when his size disadvantage would work against him. But more often, Schneider said, his quickness would win out, allowing him to avoid being jammed by bigger defensive backs.
The Seahawks’ 2014 draft class:
|• Round 2: WR Paul Richardson||• Round 2: OT Justin Britt||• Round 4: DE Cassius Marsh||• Round 4: WR Kevin Norwood||• Round 4: OLB Kevin Pierre-Louis
||• Round 5: DT Jimmy Staten
||• Round 6: OT Garrett Scott||• Round 6: DB Eric Pinkins||• Round 7: FB Kiero Small|
“When you’re watching him, the easiest thing to do with him is say, ‘Well, he’s 170 pounds. He’s going to get knocked around.’ You can see it,” Schneider said. “There’s times where he gets ridden out of bounds or guys will just shove him out of bounds because they’re freaked out that he’s going to run by them. You can see that. But the coolest thing about him is how he is at the line of scrimmage and his initial separation.”
Richardson’s blazing speed and smaller frame bring a similar wide receiver to mind: Washington’s DeSean Jackson, who is listed at 5-feet-10 and 175 pounds. Schneider said that’s an accurate comparison and added two of his own: Seattle’s Doug Baldwin and former Packer Donald Driver, who played in Green Bay during Schneider’s time in the team’s front office.
“Donald was a leaner guy, longer arms, really quick with his hands and had a certain mentality about him,” Schneider said. “Doug, his initial quickness off the line, the way he can just break you down and shake you right away and he has instant separation. This guy has that, and then he can get up on top of you and throttle his speed.”
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