Why Seattle Seahawks Made a Mistake Reaching for WR Paul Richardson

Jon DoveContributor IMay 9, 2014

FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2013, file photo, Colorado's wide receiver Paul Richardson runs the ball for a touchdown after making a reception against Washington in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Seattle. The Seattle Seahawks picked Colorado wide receiver Richardson with the No. 45 overall pick in the second round of the NFL draft Friday, May 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

The Seattle Seahawks entered this year’s draft looking to find a replacement for Golden Tate, who was their most reliable receiver over the past few years. They decided to pull the trigger on Colorado’s Paul Richardson in the second round. However, more polished receivers were on the board when Seattle picked.

What Richardson brings to the table is excellent quickness, route running and burst. He’s someone who can take the top off a defense. However, the Seahawks would’ve been better off going in a different direction.

Richardson is a similar player as Percy Harvin and Doug Baldwin in that he lacks great size. All three of those players make the majority of their plays by creating in space. Richardson’s lack of bulk raises some durability concerns. As we’ve seen over the past couple of years, Percy Harvin isn’t exactly the picture of health.

Seattle would’ve been better off going with one of the bigger-bodied receiver prospects.

Going in that direction would allow the Seahawks to move on from the injury-prone Sidney Rice. Penn State’s Allen Robinson has a lot of the same traits as Rice, but is younger and has a clean medical background.

Robinson’s size would’ve been a great complement to the smaller and quicker receivers already on the roster. At some point, Russell Wilson is going to want to have some targets with size.

The current trend in the NFL is offenses targeting those wide receivers capable of boxing out defenders. It allows the quarterback to get away with some mistakes or poorly thrown balls.

I’d also argue that the Seahawks should’ve addressed other positions of need at this spot. Seattle’s offensive line struggled down the stretch and almost derailed their Super Bowl run. As it stands, the Seahawks are heading into the season with Michael Bowie slated to open the season as the starting right tackle.

Offensive line prospects such as Morgan Moses, Antonio Richardson and Billy Turner would have all made a ton of sense. The offensive tackle position isn’t nearly as deep as the wide receiver position is in this draft.

Wilson has done a great job protecting himself and, at the same time, overcoming leaks in the offensive line. However, every time he gets hit, it opens up the possibility of an injury. It’s telling that, despite Wilson’s mobility, Seattle was tied for the 10th most sacks allowed with 44 last year.

ESPN's Terry Blount said the following after the Seahawks allowed seven sacks against the St. Louis Rams:

Only their moms or their wives would give the Seattle offensive line a grade higher than an F on Monday, and it isn’t just because of backup tackles playing for the injured starters. No one up front played well. No one up front even played at an average level.

Seattle could’ve also addressed some depth concerns along the defensive line with someone like Notre Dame’s Stephon Tuitt. He’s the type of versatile lineman capable of playing some defensive end and tackle.

Basically, the Seahawks had way better options on the board when they decided to go with Richardson.