3 wide receivers 49ers could sign after losing Jalen Hurd

Paul Richardson #10 of the Seattle Seahawks (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Paul Richardson #10 of the Seattle Seahawks (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Paul Richardson, Washington Redskins
Paul Richardson #10 of the Washington Redskins (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

49ers Wide Receiver Target No. 1: Paul Richardson

Remember the days when former Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Paul Richardson had more than his share of hype built around him?

Taken in Round 2 of the 2014 NFL Draft out of Colorado, Richardson never quite latched on until his fourth year in Seattle where he posted a career-best 703 receiving yards and six touchdowns, setting him up for a lucrative five-year, $40 million deal with Washington in 2018. Yet Richardson’s time in Washington flamed out quickly, too, and he was let go after just two seasons.

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There are a few things to consider here, however.

First, Richardson’s age — 28 years old — means he still has some mileage left. And he also has experience as a return specialist, which is something the Niners could potentially be missing after losing their previous returner, Richie James, to an offseason wrist injury. On top of that, Richardson played in a relatively familiar offensive system in Washington under former head coach Jay Gruden, part of the Shanahan family coaching tree.

And as far as speed goes, Richardson’s 40-yard dash time in 2014 of 4.40 seconds surely didn’t fly underneath Kyle Shanahan’s radar.

Granted, Richardson would come in as nothing more than a camp body. And he’d have to overcome the stigma of being a second-round flameout.

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Yet the 49ers have had success with reclamation projects before, and Richardson could fill a role on San Francisco’s depth chart if signed and he impresses enough.