The 2014 NFL Draft is over, leaving us a lot of time now to try and figure out just how good all the NFL teams got over the past few days with their selections and past few weeks in free agency. The Seahawks had a very intriguing draft, as always, and we’ve already talked about most of these guys but it was even more interesting to hear Pete Carroll and John Schneider talk about their choices in this draft. In particular, the first pick comes to mind as an interesting subject.
Obviously the characteristics of Richardson’s speed is something that was talked about in great detail in the post-draft press conference on day 2, but Schneider talked about what it looked like on day 1.
“Yesterday, you know last night when we ended, we had to have a name ready in New York and it was Paul’s name. So we were really excited to be able to go back again today. Gotta give our pro staff and our scouts and everybody a ton of credit on having the patience to hang in there and try and identify where he was going to be taken. But he’s too rare for us to pass up.
– Seahawks general manager John Schneider
Carroll then said he “really thinks that (Richardson) is the guy with the best quickness in and out of his breaks and that explosive downfield-strike ability (in this draft).” Southwest area scout Matt Berry said that nothing was too big for him at the combine and that he jumped off the tape with something “different” and “exceptional”, including the ability to avoid the jam off-the-line in ways that few his size can. Berry then went on to characterize him a little more:
“H e’s kinda unique, you see the skill set, you’re watching and you keep telling yourself, he’s too small, he’s too small, he’s thin and all he does is get open and make plays and make catches. Everybody on the field knows he’s who they’re trying to go to and he still comes through.”
– Matt Berry – Seahawks’ Southwest area scout
Clearly the Seahawks were a little worried about losing out on him and when Philadelphia moved up four spots above them the whole room skipped a heart beat knowing it was for a receiver. Schneider said they looked at each other when the pick ended up being Jordan Matthews of Vanderbilt and said “let’s not trade back again (laughs), and I said yeah that’s OK we can take him here”.
In the end they made the moves they felt they could make based on the hype factor and needs of the other teams to acquire two more picks and still get their guy. Schneider mentioned a couple times that the talk was “really quiet” for Richardson compared to the other guys in the early part of the draft, which is something they were surprised about but couldn’t have been more happy about either. Carroll then went on to dig a little deeper on that fact:
“It’s kind of standard ‘let’s get the big guys’, but we don’t think that. We’d like to but we took a really fast, cool kid in this pick and we’re thrilled about it… You hear that stuff so you wonder (about big receivers being more important on a draft board) and I think maybe the league feels like that cause they gave us a chance to get him and we were really lucky to get it done.”
– Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll
While it was interesting to hear rumors that the Seahawks were considering Dominique Easley from Florida before he was picked 29th by New England, it doesn’t ultimately matter cause Carroll and Schneider will never answer that question. Clearly the Hawks got a player they wanted in this draft that they and the 12th Man couldn’t be happier about. The excitement surrounding P-Rich and the new offense is electric and Russell Wilson finally has at least one true downfield threat to pair with the dynamics of Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin and the rest of the group.
*Richardson isn’t the only exciting receiver the Seahawks selected, we’ll have more on the other Seahawks’ WR later this morning.