2018 Cardinals Draft Profile
Name: Richie James
Position: Wide Receiver
School: Middle Tennessee State
Don’t let Richie James’ projected draft grade fool you, he is a talented wide receiver. James lost most of the 2017 season due to injury, playing in just five games. He declared for the 2018 draft after his junior season. James leaves Middle Tennessee State as the school’s all time leader in receptions (243), receiving yards (3,249), and receiving touchdowns (23).
James has the talent to take over the spot of someone like John Brown. He has a similar physical build and skill set but is much more explosive coming out of college. James can compete as a returner to earn a roster spot and compete for a slot receiver role.
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Give James a free release on the line of scrimmage and watch him shoot downfield. He has incredible acceleration and runs solid routes. He finds the open areas in zones and is able to gain separation on routes in man coverage. Does not fear the middle of the field and shows great change of direction ability. James turns up field quickly and has leaping ability to make acrobatic catches. He also played well against top talent, with over 600 yards receiving and three touchdowns in five games against SEC teams.
James lacks the strength to get off the line in press coverage. Will need to get stronger during the play to avoid being pushed around by larger secondary players. His size will be used as a negative due to his need to be used primarily in the slot. Too frequently allows the ball to get into his chest which results in drops.