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Seahawks pick surprises once again

5/10/2014

RENTON, Wash. -- If you thought the Seattle Seahawks would do the normal thing, the seemingly sensible move, you haven’t been paying attention.

Once again, the Seahawks went rogue with their first two draft selections, picking players others teams might have passed up until later in the process.

After trading down again on Friday, Seattle finally made a selection at No. 45 in Round 2 and took Colorado wide receiver Paul Richardson, a true burner but not the big-body receiver most people expected the team to select.

Then came the pick at the end of Round 2. Almost everyone was expecting Seattle to take an offensive lineman, and they did. But they left some big names on the board to take Missouri offensive tackle Justin Britt, who wasn’t listed among the top 10 tackles in this draft.

When the Seahawks took Richardson, some reporters were sure it was a different Richardson, Antonio “Tiny” Richardson. He’s an offensive tackle from Tennessee, a man many people thought was on Seattle’s radar. Several people were tweeting that Seattle had selected Tiny.

Well, the man the Seahawks took is tiny, comparatively speaking, but not named "Tiny." This Richardson can flat out fly. He ran a 4.33 40 at the NFL combine.

“I wanted it to be a lot faster,” Paul Richardson said Friday. “I ran a 4.28 on January 3 in California in the first day of combine training when we were getting evaluations.”

Richardson is a rare speedster who has great hands and game-breaking skills, but his college weight was 160. He says he’s 183 now. At first glance, he seems to be a Percy Harvin clone.

Big-body receivers Cody Latimer of Indiana and Davante Adams of Fresno State (both of whom went later in Round 2) were still available when the Seahawks took Richardson. But you can’t coach speed and Richardson has plenty of it.

As far that other Richardson, the one who is 6-foot-6, 325 and named Tiny, he still was on the board when Seattle picked at the end of Round 2. So was Virginia offensive tackle Morgan Moses, who went to Washington two picks later. Both were listed in the top 50 overall in this draft.

And Britt? Not in the top 100 on most charts. When asked Friday where he expected to be drafted, Britt said, “Somewhere between the second round and a free agent.”

Obviously, the Seahawks saw him on the front end of that equation.

"He’s just my kind of guy,” Seattle offensive line coach Tom Cable said. “He’ll compete [to start] at right tackle with Michael Bowie. Justin was 45-0 as a heavyweight wrestler in high school. He an ornery, mean guy.”

Cable said he knew Britt could play at the pro level when he saw him take on Jadeveon Clowney last season.

“I got excited watching him play Clowney,” Cable said. “It wasn’t too big for him, and he was very physical with [Clowney]. As I studied him, the traits of toughness and competitiveness kept jumping out at me.”

This is what the Seahawks do, look for traits in players that others might not see. The Seahawks really don’t care what so-called draft experts or other teams might think of the players they want.

The staff believes in each other, and why shouldn’t they? It took them to a Super Bowl championship in four years. The Seahawks didn’t get there by doing the traditional thing.

By the way, Tiny Richardson is still waiting to hear his name called.