After two years of being labeled a bust, Seahawks receiver Paul Richardson had a breakout postseason in 2017. After starting the year as the no. four WR, Richardson finished the season as the no. two option in the WR corps.
The breakout for Seahawks receiver Paul Richardson started late in the season and ended with a four-catch, 83-yard performance against the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Divisional Round. Richardson’s numbers in 2016 were pedestrian at best, but there is reason for optimism.
Over his last four games, including the playoffs, Richardson caught 15 passes for 213 yards and two touchdowns. While not impressive, when extrapolated over a 16-game schedule, they make for a 60-catch, 852 yard season with eight touchdowns.
Richardson still has elite speed, but needs to improve his route running. He has shown slight growth between his rookie season and now, but is still primarily running two routes, the fly and the fade. He uses his speed to win at the line scrimmage, but can be taken off his route when a defender gets his hands on him.
Richardson will need to get stronger and run crisper routes if he wants to keep his starting spot. Whether or not Tyler Lockett is able to get on the field in Week One could play a major role in Richardson’s playing time.
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If Lockett can’t make it back, the Seahawks need Richardson to pick up the pace. With Jermaine Kearse struggling to regain his starting spot, this is a golden opportunity for Richardson. If he can earn the starting spot, he is a perfect fit in Seattle’s current scheme. The Seahawks love to take deep shots off of play-action. With their new commitment to the running game, the play action deep shot is where Richardson should feast.
The wide receiver position is one of the most competitive groups on the roster. Richardson has one final chance to make an impression on the Seahawks. If he can finally break out with sustained success, Seattle has a true deep threat to compliment this offense.
The diverse skill sets of Richardson, Jimmy Graham, Doug Baldwin, and Tyler Lockett gives the Seahawks a prolific offense.