Unique qualities lead Seahawks to Paul Richardson and Justin Britt

Posted May 9, 2014

The Seahawks selected two players in Friday’s second day of the NFL Draft with the unique qualities coach Pete Carroll likes in Paul Richardson and Justin Britt and also used trades to add the draft choices John Schneider wants.

Pete Carroll covets players with unique qualities. John Schneider cherishes draft picks.

So Day 2 of the 2014 NFL Draft was a win-win situation for the Seahawks’ coach as well as the team’s general manager.

The Seahawks used their two picks in the second round to select Paul Richardson, a fast wide receiver from Colorado; and Justin Britt, an ornery, nasty blocker from Missouri who will compete with Michael Bowie for the right tackle spot that opened when Breno Giacomini signed with the New York Jets in free agency.

WR Paul Richardson, Colorado

Round/pick: Second, 45th overall

Pertinent info: 6 feet, 183 pounds. … He averaged 41.8 yards on his 20 touchdowns at Colorado. … After missing the 2012 season because of a knee injury, Richardson had 83 receptions for 1,343 yards and 10 TD catches last season. … He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.33 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine, where he also popped a 38-inch vertical leap. …  But he ran as fast as 4.28 in the 40 during his pre-Combine training. … Also has gained more than 20 pounds from his playing weight at Colorado. … Played at Junipero Serra and Los Alamitos high schools and had bests of 10.62 in the 100 and 21.0 in the 200 as a sprinter on the track teams.

What he brings: Speed and big-play ability to a Seahawks offense that can use both.

Where he fits: Richardson likely will compete for time at one of the outside receiver spots, but he also has the ability to work from the slot.

What they’re saying: “Pure speed. Think of a poor man’s DeSean Jackson. … Paul Richardson flies. He runs bubble screens, double moves, outside-the-number routes, but he absolutely can take the lid off a defense. … They needed a pedigree in this room and the just got a bunch of speed.” – NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock

What he’s saying: “I think Percy (Harvin) is very, very gifted and I think that I bring a similar dynamic to the game. I’m not as big as Percy is, but I’m very explosive as well and like to make plays just as he does.”

So Carroll got two players with unique qualities, while Schneider enters the final four rounds on Saturday with six picks – the same number the Seahawks had when the draft began on Thursday night, before adding Richardson and Britt. By trading their first-round pick and then trading back in the second round, the Seahawks now have three picks in the fourth round (108, 111 and 132 overall) and one each in the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds (172, 208 and 227 overall).

“We feel blessed in that regard,” Schneider said. “We’re ready to go to work. We’re ready to start picking good players for our system and our coach staff to work with.”

And Schneider and Carroll have made the most of those third-day picks in their previous four drafts together by adding All-Pro strong safety Kam Chancellor in 2010 (fifth round); All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman (fifth round), linebacker K.J. Wright (fourth round), cornerback Byron Maxwell (sixth round) and Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith (seventh round) in 2011; cornerback Jeremy Lane (sixth round) and guard J.R. Sweezy (seventh round) in 2013; and tight end Luke Willson (fifth round) and Bowie (seventh round) last year.

Richardson brings game-altering speed to an offense that can use it after losing leading receiver Golden Tate in free agency. The 6-foot, 183-pound Richardson ran the 40-yard dash in 4.33 second at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, and was disappointed because he had clocked a 4.28 in his pre-Combine training.

“I thought he was awesome,” said Matt Berry, the Seahawks’ southwest area scout who spent three days with Richardson at the Combine because the Colorado wide-out was in his group. “From a group perspective, you get to see the ups and downs of the week. And it wasn’t big for me. He handled it with very little stress. He went out there and performed, and it was really kind of cool to see how he handled that kind of environment being under the microscope like that.”

On the field during the season, “His speed and his skillset jumped off the tape,” Berry said. “We’re kind of about guys with special traits, and he’s a guy that has something different and something exceptional and I think that’s what drew us to him.”

The magnetic pull worked both ways.

“I’m so appreciative right now,” said Richardson, who added that his exposure to the Seahawks during the draft process was limited to Berry and the team psychologist. “I’m so blessed with this opportunity. I’m still excited about it. It hit me, but it hasn’t hit me. I’m just overwhelmed right now, in a good way.”

If you’re concerned about Richardson’s lack of size, don’t be because Carroll isn’t.

“That’s an interesting question,” Carroll said. “How big is Doug (Baldwin)? How big is Percy (Harvin)? He’s just like our guys. I know there’s some concern about that. We love the way our guys play and the productivity and the effectiveness they have. So we didn’t have any problem with that at all. We love how fast he is.”

OT Justin Britt, Missouri

Round/pick: Second, 64th overall

Pertinent info: 6 feet 6, 325 pounds. … Britt started 30 games at left tackle and six at right tackle for the Tigers, but said he has experience at all five spots along the line. … In his 36 starts, he was credited with 35 touchdown-resulting blocks and 253 knockdowns. … As a senior at Lebanon (Mo.) High School he was an all-state lineman and state heavyweight wrestling champion with a 45-0 record.

What he brings: Another big, versatile body for the Tom Cable-coached O-line that lost right tackle Breno Giacomini and guard-tackle Paul McQuistan in free agency.

Where he fits: Britt will compete with Michael Bowie, a seventh-round draft choice last year, for the right tackle spot that opened with Giacomini signed with the New York Jets in free agency. But Britt also has the ability to play either guard spot.

What they’re saying: “He is our kind of guy. He’s competitive. ... He’s an ornery, mean guy that plays the game the right way. ” – Cable

What he’s saying: “Blocking for a running back like Marshawn Lynch, for an offensive lineman you kind of lick your chops. That’s a running back you would love to block for, you know will give the extra effort to get the extra yards. So I’m excited to block for him.”

Britt, meanwhile, is a 6-6, 325-pounder who plays the game the way line coach Tom Cable wants it to be played. It was Cable who used the terms ornery and nasty to describe Britt. And he was smiling when he did it.

“He’s an ornery, nasty guy that plays the game the right way,” Cable said.

Asked about the tags, Britt offered, “I went into (last) season wanting the guys I went against to remember me. It was my last year, so I wanted to leave a mark in their mind and have them remember me. If nasty is the word you want to use, then I’m nasty.”

Nasty in the way the Seahawks like their linemen.

“He’s another really tough kid,” Carroll said. “He’s got a really good attitude, love his mentality for playing the position. He’s got all of the qualities – he’s a big, long, tough, strong guy. He’s going to fit in just right.”

Britt also grades out well in off-field intangibles. He is married, has a child and already has graduated.

“He’s no-nonsense,” Cable said. “That’s our kind of guy. Guys that love to compete.”

As Schneider put it, “He has a really cool makeup about him.”

Cable was targeting two linemen with the last pick in the second round. One went earlier, but Britt was there.

“So it was great,” Cable said. “With the departure of Breno, filling that need and then creating the right competition so that we get a good player at right tackle, this worked out perfectly.

“It’s a perfect hit for us at what we need to have right now.”