Matt Waldman’s Rookie Scouting Portfolio examines wide receiver Paul Richardson and how he’ll be used in Washington in 2018.
Paul Richardson is one of my favorite wide receiver prospects of the past five years. He hasn’t earned the playing time and target volume that could propel him to stardom, but he has the skills to maximize that opportunity if it comes in Washington. The short video series below reveals Richardson’s tremendous strengths as well as ways he fits into the Washington offense. It also reveals where Richardson’s potentially will likely remain untapped:
- Richardson isn’t a strong athlete, but he’s a fluid and quick receiver who earns separation early.
- Like Seattle, Washington will feature Richardson on rub routes to help him earn separation. Look for him to be paired with Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson, and Jordan Reed.
- Richardson possesses similar qualities to DeSean Jackson. Look for Washington to put him on a trips side with Doctson, Reed, and/or Vernon Davis for screen passes.
- Although he’s not the strongest technician against press coverage, he runs crafty routes against off coverage because of his knowledge of angles to set up the coverage and pacing in and out of breaks.
- His savvy with creating angles of separation against zone coverage and transitioning from catcher to runner makes him a dangerous open-field player.
- Alex Smith was a league-leading vertical passer last year but even so, he’s not known for 50/50 routes in the vertical game or even in the red zone. This is where Richardson thrives.
If Smith can change his ways, Richardson could be the go-to option in Washington with Pro Bowl production. Don’t count on it, though. Jackson earned 56 catches for 1005 yards and 4 touchdowns with Kirk Cousins in 2016. This could be Richardson’s realistic upside if he and Smith develop a rapport.
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