Redskins.com's Jake Kring-Schreifels provides five things to know about new Washington Redskins wide receiver Paul Richardson Jr., signed on March 15.
1. Richardson is extremely fast.
The Redskins' new addition at wide receiver had an impressive showing at the 2014 NFL Combine, posting the eighth fastest 40-yard dash time of all participants at 4.4 seconds – he said during the draft process he'd run a 4.28 at Colorado, where he attended college.
His speed will certainly help the Redskins fill a void left by wide receiver DeSean Jackson when he signed with Tampa Bay last offseason. Of Richardson's 44 catches last year with Seattle, 13 of them went for at least 20 yards. He was also targeted 19 times on throws that traveled more than 20 yards in the air.
This remains an impressive feat considering he's torn his ACL twice – once in college and then later, in 2015, with the Seahawks.
2. He set a Colorado school-record for the most single-season receiving yards.
Richardson, a Los Angeles native, had planned to attend UCLA and play football there, but the Bruins cut him before his freshman year began. To keep playing football, Richardson transferred to Colorado and played in all 12 games during his first year.
In his sophomore year, he set a school record for the most receiving yards in a game with 284 on just 11 receptions, which tied CU's single-game mark. He redshirted his junior year after tearing his ACL, but returned in 2013 with incredible numbers.
Along with being named Colorado's most valuable player and earning first-team All-Pac 12 honors, he set school single-season records for receptions with 83 and receiving yards with 1,343.
3. He played basketball and ran track in high school.
Understandably, Richardson's speed was used in other sports growing up, too. He earned letters on the basketball team and on the track team, where he posted career bests in the 100 meter (10.62 seconds), 200 meter (21.0) and 4 x 400 meter relay (40.66).
In an interview last year with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Richardson also recalled the time he was mistaken for a popular Washington D.C.-based point guard.
"It was the Fourth of July right before my rookie training camp and I was walking and somebody thought I was [Washington Wizards point guard] John Wall -- so I was John Wall the whole rest of that day," Richardson said. "I was cool with that…then my group, they named a few people in front of me, then they said 'John Wall' so I threw my hand up and starting dapping people up... I was him that day."
4. He's made some ridiculous catches in his career.
Richardson had an injury-filled start to his career with the Seahawks – tearing his ACL at the end of his rookie year, then his hamstring in the first game the following year -- but eventually found his way back into the mix at wide receiver. In 2016, he showed some glimpses of the kind of athlete and talent and he could be, specifically against the Lions at the end of the year. Take a look at some of those impressive grabs – including a nearly improbable one-handed catch in the end zone – that Richardson took as momentum with him into the offseason.
He's particularly adept at catching 50-50 balls and finding open spaces in the defense when the quarterback scrambles off-schedule. His highlights against the Texans from last season exhibit both of these traits, which helped him finish 2017 with 44 receptions, 703 yards and six touchdowns.
5. He loves cars, especially the classics.
In the same Post-Intelligencer interview, Richardson was asked about some of the items he bought with his first contract. He said he spent most of it on his family – getting them proper medical care – and then he indulged a little.
"The first big thing I got? Cars. That's my problem. I just like cars, man," he said. "My next big purchase, I can tell you that, is going to be that 1971 [Dodge] Challenger from The Fast and the Furious. Get that engine sitting and top of the hood and everything."
We'll have to keep a lookout for one at the facility.