(Editor’s Note: Heading into the upcoming NFL Draft, held May 8-10, DallasCowboys.com will take a closer look at the prospects, including some that could be potential fits with the Cowboys. Today’s featured player is Colorado wide receiver Paul Richardson).
Name: Paul Richardson
Position: Wide receiver
Height/Weight: 6-1 / 175
Honors: Richardson owns 29 school records at Colorado, including the school’s single-season marks for receptions (83) and receiving yards (1,343). He was a first-team All-Pac 12 selection in 2013 alongside Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks, who is also one of the top WR prospects in the draft.
Key stat: Most teams are better at home than on the road, and the same usually is said with the players. But Richardson takes it to the extreme. This past season, in the five games played out of the state, he averaged 4.6 catches per game and 62 yards. In the seven games played in the state of Colorado, which included six home games and a road contest at Colorado State, Richardson averaged 8.5 catches per game and 147.5 yards, including a pair of 200-yard receiving games to start the year. That’s a stat the Broncos should know more than any team. But it also might mean he’s comfortable at home in his familiar environments.
Where He’s Projected: Richardson is starting to move up the draft boards, starting off around the fifth- to sixth-round range. But now, the Colorado standout looks to be a second-day pick for either the second or third round.
How He Helps the Cowboys: The Cowboys need some depth at receiver, having just four players on the roster with playing experience in this offense. So whether they add another slot guy, a speed demon to stretch the field or a cross between the two, a drafted receiver should find many opportunities to make the team and contribute. Richardson has big-play potential, evident by his career 15.4 yard average per catch.
Scout’s Take: Has a slight build for a receiver. Is built like a track sprinter. Plays in an offense at Colorado that kills his possible production. Quarterback play puts him in some terrible positions. Will make some of the most incredible catches because of how poor their play is. Is almost like a soccer goalie diving to make stops. Will catch the ball above his head. Can adjust on the move. Not afraid to take his route inside and deal with the traffic. Showed a nice burst on the slant. Will plant off his outside foot and drive hard inside to get in position to make the reception. Will snatch the ball on the move. Plays with quick hands and gets them in position in a hurry. Has to be ready because there is no telling where the ball is going to end up. Can extend for the ball. Reach is very good. Was able to square up for the ball on the curl. Would not call him a polished route runner but is the best option on this offense so has to find ways to work himself open. Runs some loose routes. Able to get his feet down along the sideline showing some outstanding awareness. Had a back shoulder touchdown against UCLA. Able to adjust in mid-air. Plays with a little juice with the ball in his hands. Can burst with the ball in his hands to grab extra yards. Does a nice job of adjusting to the low ball on his shoe tops. Will slide down to grab it as well. Not afraid to take his route inside for the ball. Showed the toughness to secure the ball and make the catch. Is not physical enough to hold corner off, going to need to build some strength to be able to be able to battle these types of defenders. Raw player that plays with a bad quarterback, that has the skill set to develop down the line. Has never been asked in college to be a return man on special teams but has that ability to make defenders miss with the ball in his hands with quickness.- Bryan Broaddus