Matt Waldman’s RSP Boiler Room examines three games of 2019 NFL Draft WR prospect Ahmmon Richards and discovers a fluid athlete who needs to add more to his game — especially against man coverage.
Ahmmon Richards looks the part of an NFL receiver: He’s fluid, he’s agile, he can leap, and he can catch. When Richards gets open, he’s a smooth pass-catcher who can make the first man miss and outrun pursuit up the sideline for long gains.
When targeted near the boundary, Richards can adjust to the ball and still get both feet inbounds. His back-shoulder fade is smooth and his hitch-and-go is a polished move that includes a thorough look back to the quarterback that forces his opponent to stop running or bite on the hitch.
And when covered tight at the line, Richards delivers a quick arm-over set up with a rocker-step, three-step, or four-step move. Other than describing his blocking and physical execution of breaks, you’ve read the book on Richards as a rising junior.
It might be the shortest book cornerbacks from opposing schools had to read during the Fall Semester of 2017 — and the chapter about Richard’s game wilting against physical coverage was easy to commit to memory. When Florida State covered Richards man-to-man, he couldn’t win. Once the Seminoles went to zone, Richards ran free.
Heading into 2018, Richards must cultivate a physical game with a greater variety of releases, a savvier approach to positioning himself between the defender and the ball, and release moves that can generate a push rather than a slap.
A well-known wide receiver prospect, Richards has this year — and if he wishes, next — to develop a complete game. If he can prove that physical play doesn’t distract him, Richards’s chances of success rise. If not, he has the skills of a talented role player who struggles against physical play.
The first outcome will make Richards worth the notoriety come May of 2019 or 2020. The second outcome won’t. Stay tuned.
This analysis of Richards is only the beginning of what you’ll find every year in the Rookie Scouting Portfolio publication. For most in-depth analysis of skill players available, get the 2018 Rookie Scouting Portfolio. If you’re a fantasy owner the Post-Draft Add-on comes with the 2012 – 2018 RSPs at no additional charge. Best, yet, 10 percent of every sale is donated to Darkness to Light to combat sexual abuse. You can purchase past editions of the Rookie Scouting Portfolio for just $9.95 each. You can pre-order the 2019 RSP beginning in December.