Football / Sports

Seahawks go on the offensive on Draft Day 2

SEATTLE -- Finally, the Seahawks found a reason to keep a pick.

After opening Friday's session of the NFL draft by again trading down to acquire an extra pick later, the Seahawks decided to write down a name and send it in.

And the name, general manager John Schneider said, was the same one that Seattle was ready to submit before trading twice earlier in the draft -- Colorado receiver Paul Richardson.

"We had to have a name ready in New York (where the draft is officially held) and it was Paul's name," Schneider said. "So we were really excited that we were able to go back and (get him)."

Not, though, before a few anxious moments.

The Seahawks worried that the Eagles -- who took two receivers Friday -- would draft Richardson when they moved into the 42nd spot.

That, according to Schneider, compelled director of college scouting Scott Fitterer to tell Schneider "let's not trade anymore."

Seattle moved down to 45 in a trade with Detroit in which the Seahawks also gave up the 146th pick of the fifth round to acquire the 111th pick in round four and the 227th pick in round seven.

That gives Seattle eight picks for the draft -- it entered the event with six, which would have been the team's fewest since 2006 -- with six coming in rounds four through seven, to be held Saturday.

Seattle then used its pick at the end of the second round, No. 64 overall, to select offensive lineman Justin Britt of Missouri.

Britt will be used initially at right tackle, where he will compete with second-year player Michael Bowie to replace Breno Giacomini, who signed with the Jets as an unrestricted free agent.

Both players were picked a little ahead of where most pundits had them slotted.

Some draftniks had concerns over Richardson's size -- he's 6 feet tall and officially listed at 175 pounds, though he said he played in college as low as "158 to 161." Richardson, though, said he weighs 183 now and the team said it was not concerned about his size.

Richardson also played for three coaches in four years at Colorado, a time when the Buffs went a combined 13-36, and he missed the 2012 season after tearing his ACL.

Richardson, though, recovered fully, catching 83 passes last season as a junior, then declared for the draft with a year of eligibility remaining. He says the knee is no longer an issue.

Seattle also wasn't concerned about the events that led to Richardson ending up at Colorado in 2010. He was a touted receiver out of Juniperro Serra High in Gardena, Calif., signing with UCLA. But before officially enrolling, Richardson was arrested for felony theft in July 2010, along with Bruins teammates Shaquille Richardson (a cousin) and Josh Shirley. All were kicked off the team, with Shirley ending up at Washington and Shaquille Richardson at Arizona (and all would later plead guilty to a misdemeanor).

Matt Berry, Seattle's Southwest area ccout who spent three days with Richardson at the NFL combine in February, called it "an immature incident that was blown out of proportion."

As part of the team's pre-draft research, Richardson met with a Seattle team psychologist, which Richardson called critical, saying "he felt that I would be able to fit in" with the Seahawks.

Richardson could be a candidate to return punts. But the Seahawks mostly envision Richardson adding a speedy and quick receiver (he ran a 4.4 40 at the combine but said his fastest time is 4.28) who can spread the field, has big-play ability and who could help replace the departed Golden Tate.

Britt was even more off the radar, projected by some pundits as being a sixth- or seventh-round pick. Britt himself said he thought he might go anywhere from the seventh round to going undrafted.

Offensive line coach Tom Cable, though, said he was impressed by Britt's athleticism -- he was a state champion heavyweight wrestler as a senior in high school -- and maturity.

Britt started all 14 games at left tackle last year for Missouri. But Cable said it was watching film of Britt playing right tackle as a junior that sold him on his ability to play that spot.

Cable also said a conversation with Missouri coach Gary Pinkel proved a critical final word in deciding on Britt, listed at 6-5, 325 pounds.

"When I hear a guy like coach Pinkel say that this is a guy that can get it done and we feel really good about succeeding out of this program, that's pretty strong to me," Cable said.

The draft continues Saturday at 9 a.m. when the Seahawks will have three of their six picks in the fourth round. Seattle has feasted on the final day of the draft in recent years, grabbing the likes of Kam Chancellor, Richard Sherman and Malcolm Smith on the last day.

"We are ready to go to work," Schneider said.

WR Paul Richardson

Height, weight: 6-0, 175

College: Colorado

By the numbers: Richardson ran the 40-yard dash in 4.40 seconds at the NFL combine, the third-fastest time among receivers. He said he posted an unofficial time of 4.28 seconds in January.

Role with Seahawks: Richardson won't have to come in and be a difference-maker right away. He can factor in behind Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse and Sidney Rice and be able to provide a deep threat.

Scout's take: "Most of the time when you look at speed guys you think they're gonna be tight or straight-lined," said Seahawks scout Matt Berry. "He's got a knack for releasing. He's got really good rhythm off the line of scrimmage so guys have a hard time getting their hands on him. And he can really accelerate. That's the thing you really notice."

Justin Britt

Height, weight: 6-5, 325

College: Missouri

By the numbers: Britt played 5 positions on the offensive line in college.

Role with Seahawks: Britt will come in and compete right away with Michael Bowie for the starting right tackle position. Offensive line coach Tom Cable said he projects Britt as a right tackle in the NFL.

Scout's take: "I got excited watching him play (Jadeveon) Clowney," said Cable. "It wasn't too big. He didn't worry about it. He was very physical with him. And then the more I started studying this guy, all the way back to when he was younger, the traits of toughness and competitiveness just kept jumping out at me."

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