Emergence of Paul Richardson positive sign moving forward
By Andy Larkin
Paul Richardson emerged as a dynamic playmaker in the postseason. If the young playmaker can stay healthy he could push for a starting job in 2017.
Paul Richardson has had a tumultuous journey throughout his brief NFL career. Just three short years ago Richardson was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the second round of the NFL draft. Injuries caused the speedy wide out to miss significant time in each of his first two seasons. By year three opportunities were scarce, but when one finally came his way P-Rich was ready. For the Seahawks, The late season emergence of Paul Richardson is reason for optimism moving forward.
By the time week sixteen roles around in the NFL teams have a pretty good idea of what they have on the roster and how those players will factor into the future. Take a look a the 2016 Seahawks receiving corps, for example. A unit consisting of established, battle tested veterans in Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse, an explosive up and comer in Tyler Lockett, and we might as well throw Jimmy Graham in there too.
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That’s a pretty solid lineup that doesn’t exactly leave many targets to spread around elsewhere. But as we know in the NFL, things can change in an instant. The late season injury to Tyler Lockett was further proof of that well documented fact. A gruesome broken leg looked like it might be the final straw for an inconsistent Seattle offense.
Enter Paul Richardson. The third year player had been having trouble getting reps as somewhat of a fifth, sixth or even seventh option. That all changed when the Lions came to town for a wildcard playoff game. Richardson exploded on to the scene making three highlight grabs for 48 yards, including a one had magic trick resulting in a touchdown. The team and its fans were treated to a sample of what Paul Richardson could be. A dynamic playmaker who can haul in just about anything thrown his way.
He’d shown flashes in the past, but with just three catches against Detroit Richardson showed he was more than capable of making a huge impact when the opportunity presents itself. Richardson followed up that performance with another solid showing against the Falcons in the divisional round hauling in five receptions for 83 yards. Once again Richardson caught almost everything thrown his direction. Surprisingly the only drops in the playoffs for him were a couple of the routine catches.
In just a handful of games in 2016, Richardson showed what he could be at this level. Though we’ve seen flashes in the past, this was the best he’s looked in game action during his brief career. It’s understandable why the Seahawks valued him as a second round pick three years ago.
Perhaps more important than his flashes of brilliance was the fact that Richardson came out of a full season healthy. The potential has always been there but the health hasn’t. Now with a full season under his belt, Richardson will have an entire offseason to work on his game rather than his rehab.
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There is little certainty in this league, a fact Richardson knows all too well. That being said there is one thing we can be sure of heading into 2017; If this version of Paul Richardson shows up to training camp he’ll be competing for a starting job.