When looking at the NFL Draft class at the wide receiver position two of the more intriguing names are Jared Abbrederis and Paul Richardson. This position group seems to be inflated with all of the underclassmen who declared. This isn’t just the case for the receivers but across the board. Abbrederis is an unknown to most of the casual fans but not to Badger fans.
Jared Abbrederis, WR, Wisconsin
Jared Abbrederis was not highly touted coming out of high school in the state of Wisconsin. In fact he had to walk on at the University of Wisconsin. He actually started out as a spread quarterback on the scout team his redshirt freshmen year in 2009. In 2010 he would finally make it to the field to snag 20 receptions for 289 yards and three scores.
Abbrederis became a focal point in the wide receiver corps from 2011-2013. Over that three year span he amassed 182 receptions, 2,851 yards and 20 touchdowns. He was also on the Biletnikoff Award and Paul Hornung Award watch lists prior to the 2013 season. He also won the Burlsworth Trophy last season which is in place to recognize student-athletes that start as walk-ons.
Abbrederis had a reception in every game this season with the exception of the 51-3 thrashing of the Indiana Hoosier however; he did have three rushes for 86 yards and two scores. His biggest game came during a loss to Big Ten Champion Ohio State on September 28th. He gashed the Buckeyes’ defense for 207 yards on 10 receptions and one score.
Paul Richardson, WR, Colorado
Paul Richardson was never meant to play football for the Buffalos but he played with the hand that was dealt. Richardson was dismissed from UCLA in the summer of 2010 by then head coach Rick Neuheisel. He was arrested on suspicion of theft and was facing felony theft charges. He then enrolled at the University of Colorado where he would begin his football career.
Richardson was a solid contributor in his first two seasons in Boulder. Unfortunately for him he missed the 2012 season when he tore his ACL prior to the season. In 2013 he outperformed his freshmen and sophomore seasons combined. This past season he had 83 receptions, 1,343 yards (school record) and 10 touchdowns. His biggest games happened in the first two games of the season when he accumulated 21 receptions, 417 yards and four scores. The two games were virtually identical for Richardson.
Richardson was very consistent throughout last season as he had at least three receptions in every game. Only once did he not average at least 10 yards per reception, which occurred during the Arizona State game.
When looking at the two players their measurable are very similar. Abbrederis is an inch taller and has a 18 pound advantage. While their touchdown production is right on par with each other, Abbrederis has the advantage with overall production. Keep in mind that he also played one season more than Richardson due to his ACL injury.
In watching both players on film what I found was similar to looking at their numbers. Both run their routes well. Breaking out of their routes to get the ball in their hands is something the two of them do well. Richardson is more prone to the drop but that is nothing more than a concentration issue that is easily fixed with coaching.
Both Abbrederis and Richardson will be good contributors at the next level but if I am looking for a slot guy and third wide receiver to compliment my starters it is going to be Abbrederis. He has been more consistent and he doesn’t have the red flags when he is off the field. Despite the fact that Richardson’s issue happened back in 2010, he will still have to answer the questions. Their projections aren’t that far apart so taking either player should be a win for that organization.