A WR for the Cowboys?
I think there's a consensus that the Cowboys could be looking for a wide receiver at some point in the draft, though probably not in the first few rounds of the draft. As such, it's no surprise to see that the highest-ranked wide receiver on our Pre-Draft Visit Tracker is Oregon's Josh Huff, who is ranked 136th (5th round) on the CBS big board, and is closely followed by Texas WR Mike Davis at 144.
What did come as a surprise then is to see that the Cowboys appear to have met with Colorado WR Paul Richardson in some capacity, according to Gil Brandt.
Richardson currently ranks 61st on the CBS big board, so that makes him an intriguing visitor for the Cowboys - whether as an official pre-draft visitor or as a player they've had a private workout with.
At 6-0, 175 pounds, is a little light for an NFL wide receiver, but he more than makes up for that with his speed. He clocked the third-fastest 40-time with 4.40 among all wide receivers at the Combine in February. Once in the NFL, he'll get the right nutritional counseling and weight training to beef up his wiry frame, so his weight is not necessarily a deal breaker. However, it is something teams will have to take into consideration, particularly since he tore his ACL in 2012 spring practice, and missed the 2012 season. He bounced back in fine form, finishing 2013 with 83 receptions for 1,343 receiving yards and ten touchdowns, which has led to repeated comparisons to former Eagle DeSean Jackson.
Essentially, as Mike Klis of the Denver Post noted, Richardson has "first-round speed and athleticism, second-round hands and fifth-round weight."
Here's one of the latest scouting reports on Richardson, courtesy of Tony Pauline at draftinsider.net:
Positive: Explosive receiver effective down the field or in underneath coverage. Smart player. Displays a sense of timing and fundamentally sound. Quickly releases off the line of scrimmage, has a burst of speed which he turns on in a single step, and stretches the field vertically. Effectively tracks the pass in the air, makes catches in contorted positions, and plays with balance. Uses the sidelines well, possesses good eye-hand coordination, and consistently makes catches away from his frame. Gets up in a crowd and fights to come away with the ball. Runs crisp routes, separates from defenders, and comes back into the clearing to make himself an available target. Plays with quickness and can run to the deep throw. A big-play receiver with a consistent game.Negative: Must turn up the intensity when blocking. Has a thin build and will struggle handling jams at the next level. Loses out in battles.Analysis: When healthy, Richardson was a consistent receiver and a force to be dealt with. He comes with a solid game, has a high upside and could develop into a number two wideout at the next level. In the end Richardson may turn into one of the steals in May's draft.
Last year, the Cowboys had Terrance Williams on their board with a second-round grade, and ranked as the 23rd player overall. They were extremely pleased when they found Williams still available for the 74th overall pick in the third round.
This year, the Cowboys hold the 78th pick in the draft. If they have a speedy receiver who can be a vertical threat in Scott Linehan's offense ranked at the top of their board when that pick rolls around, should they take a wide receiver with their third-round pick?
Here's a summary of some of Richardson's measurements:
Weight: 175 lbs
Arm length: 32 5/8"
20-yard shuttle (Pro Day): 4.23
3-cone drill: 7.09 (Pro Day: 6.98)