Jaguars Sign Speedster

The Jaguars added another receiver to their roster as they signed former University of Utah wideout Derrek Richards on Friday. Jacksonville appears to be loaded at the wide receiver position, but we believe the team has a specific role in mind for Richards. Find out the complete scouting report on the newest Jaguar, and what the front office envisions for the former Ute.

The newest Jaguars acquisition, Derrek Richards, measures in at 5'11", 182 lbs., and the former high school track star in Utah has run the 40-yard dash as quickly as 4.37 seconds. Richards has solid strength for his size as he did 20 reps of 225 lbs. on the bench press, and showed good athleticism by recording a 36" vertical leap. At his pro day, Richards leaped 10' in the broad jump, did the 20-yard shuttle in 4.09 seconds, ran his 3-cone drill in 6.72 seconds, 10-yard dash in 1.46 seconds, and the 20-yard dash in 2.55 seconds.

Richards earned All-Mountain West Honorable Mention honors at wide receiver after his junior and senior seasons, as he combined for 113 receptions for 1291 yards. The Utah native finished his collegiate career with the seventh-most receptions in Utes history (134), and 12th all-time in receiving yards (1,614).

Although Richards has the speed to get deep, his route running needs refinement, and like many smaller receivers, he struggles from time to time making catches over the middle. If Richards is going to make an NFL roster or practice squad, his contributions will mainly be felt on special teams.

As a senior at Utah, Richards was named to the All-Mountain West Second Team as a punt returner and kick returner, as he led the MWC in punt return average, and finished ninth in the nation, averaging an impressive 15.0 yards per return, including one return that he took to the house 75 yards against rival Utah State.

It has been no secret that the Jaguars are exploring the possibility of using running back Maurice Jones-Drew more in the backfield, and thus limiting his opportunities in the kick return game. With some of Jacksonville's undrafted free agent signings, it appears as if they are searching for a speedy return man to replace the speedy and powerful Jones-Drew. With Richards speed and elusiveness, he will have every opportunity to earn a roster spot not only as the Jaguars kickoff returner, but possibly as a backup to Dennis Northcutt as a punt returner.


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