Richie James Draft Profile

Richie James Draft Profile

Strengths:

  • Quick
  • Agile
  • Competitive personality on the field
  • Took on heavy workload and produced results as pass-catcher and wildcat quarterback in 2016
  • Elite burst off snap
  • Able to plant and make lateral slide around defensive backs and tacklers
  • Rapid foot quickness
  • Has separation quickness to create throwing windows out of breaks
  • Shifty throughout routes
  • Talented runner with ball in his hands
  • Willing to look up and engage corners and safeties as run blocker in space

Analysis:¬†While Richie James lacks great size, he’s an electric athlete and strong-minded runner with the ball. He played quarterback as a high school senior, earning honorable mention Florida all-state honors, but switched back to receiver (49 receptions, 727 yards, seven touchdowns as a high school junior) during his redshirt season in Murfreesboro. James starred in 2015, receiving first-team Freshman All-American and first-team All-Conference USA notice with 108 receptions (ranked third nationally) and 1,346 yards and eight touchdowns (he also had 12 carries, 146 yards and a rushing touchdown). His sophomore season was even better, covering 1,625 yards and scoring 12 times while again garnering first-team all-conference honors (38 carries, 339 yards and four touchdowns rushing). James was also the Hawai’i Bowl MVP despite the Blue Raiders’ loss because of his 201 yards of offense (162 receiving, 39 rushing) and 51-yard touchdown. His junior season was cut short in October 2017 because of a broken collarbone (31 receptions, 290 yards, three receiving touchdowns; 10 carries, 57 yards rushing, seven attempts and 37 yards on punt returns), but James still finished as the school’s all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns. Very competitive player, wants to win every snap. Willing to block in the running game although his size prevents a lot of success.

Weaknesses:

  • Lacks NFL size
  • Thin frame that has dealt with injuries
  • Played just five games due to ankle injury and broken collarbone
  • Play strength is lacking
  • Plays with good quickness but routes lack polish
  • Lacks focus and catch radius to consistently pluck throws outside his frame
  • Athletic but still raw

Analysis: Richie James is an undersized slot option with good foot quickness and consistent play speed, but lacking in polish and strength. While James is more reliant upon his athleticism than his route acumen, he does have the suddenness to gain instant separation in tight quarters. James plays with good toughness but has to prove his 2017 injuries were a fluke. James lacks size and his focus as a pass-catcher is very average, but he does have talent that could be developed with more time. He will need to get with his position coach at the next level to hone his route running skills–if he focuses more on the nuances of the route–he can be dangerous in that aspect at the next level with his quickness and foot speed. A lot of durability questions arose after his last season with Middle Tennessee.

Size: 5’10 183lbs

Draft Grade: Day 3 grade

NFL Comparison: Jakeem Grant

Draft Projection: Round 5-7

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