After twice trading down, the Seattle Seahawks picked Colorado wide receiver Paul Richardson with the No. 45 overall pick in the second round of the NFL draft on Friday.
Seattle was originally scheduled to pick at No. 40 before making a second draft trade, this time with Detroit. By moving back five spots, the Seahawks were still able to get a speedy receiver to add to their roster and help make up for the loss of Golden Tate in free agency.
Seattle was thought to be looking for size from any wide receiver it might take. Instead, the Seahawks went for Richardson’s raw speed to team with Percy Harvin as pass catching options for quarterback Russell Wilson. Richardson was timed at 4.4 in the 40-yard draft at the combine but said his fastest 40 time ever was a 4.28. He’s also added weight from his college playing size and is now up to 183 pounds.
Richardson already had a bit of a relationship with Seattle coach Pete Carroll. When he was still coaching in college, Richardson said Carroll offered him a scholarship to Southern California.
“I figured it out when the general manager called me,” Richardson said. “I was on the fence about everything, just letting things happen and going with the flow.”
Seattle later selected Missouri offensive tackle Justin Britt with the final pick of the second round. While he played left and right tackle at Missouri, the Seahawks listed him as being a possible tackle, guard or center.
Britt was an all-Southeastern Conference first-team selection in 2013. Britt started all 14 games at left tackle last season, but played right tackle in the past for the Tigers. He’s also projected to be able to move to guard as well and versatility has proven important for the Seahawks.
Britt said he was playing shuffleboard with his friends trying not to worry about the draft when his phone started buzzing.
“I was told second (round) to free agency,” Britt said. “I was going into today and tomorrow kind of waiting.”
Before making its first pick, Seattle moved down 13 spots from its originally scheduled first-round pick and added two additional picks. It was the fourth straight draft that Seattle made a trade in the second round.
Richardson missed the 2012 season with a knee injury. His rebound in 2013 was outstanding. Despite playing with a young quarterback, Richardson had a standout senior season with 83 catches for 1,343 yards and 10 touchdown catches. Three times he had at least 10 catches in a game, even as the Buffaloes were struggling through a 4-8 season.
“My knee hasn’t been an issue since I got my brace off,” Richardson said. “I’ve been blessed to bounce back from my injury fast.”
The trade with Detroit also included a fifth-round pick sent to the Lions, but Seattle came out ahead picking up an additional fourth-round pick and a seventh-round selection. Seattle originally moved down to No. 40 after trading the final pick of the first round on Thursday night to Minnesota.