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2018 NFL Draft Profile: Richie James, Wide Receiver, Middle Tennessee

Can the Blue Raiders star wideout rebound in the pros after a short, but exciting college career?

NCAA Football: Middle Tennessee at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Richie James

College: Middle Tennessee State

Position: Wide Receiver

Height/Weight: 5’9”, 178 pounds

Combine Measurements/Stats: 4.48 40-yard dash, six bench press reps, 35.5-inch vertical jump, 122-inch broad jump, 6.87 second three-cone drill, 4.16 20-yard shuttle, 11.44 second 60-yard shuttle

College Stats: 243 receptions, 3249 receiving yards, 23 receiving touchdowns, 544 rushing yards on 61 attempts, five rushing touchdowns

James makes the jump to the pro level a year early after an injury-plagued redshirt junior season in 2017. The time he did spend on the field with the Blue Raiders was fruitful, however. James helped MTSU along to two bowl appearances, which included being named the MVP of the Hawai’i Bowl following the 2016 season despite MTSU losing that game. Despite only having two full seasons in college to his name, James ended his NCAA career as his school’s leader in career catches, receiving yards, and touchdowns. In a nutshell, they’re really going to miss this guy in Murfreesboro.

Pros:

James reminds me A LOT of Andrew Hawkins, who had a few really impressive years in the NFL and in Canada. He might be small, but he’s tenacious and always looking for the big play. Plus, MTSU had him coming out of the backfield quite a bit in the wildcat and on reverses and quick hits. He has a background as a quarterback in high school and that versatility usually serves guys well at the next level. I really see him as a great option as a slot receiver for some lucky team, if he’s healthy enough.

Cons:

He’s just not big enough to be a legitimate first or second option in the NFL, in my opinion. While he’s got great agility, he can sometimes try to make one too many cuts and limit his total yardage on a play as a result. Plus, we have to remember that he’s recovering from two separate injuries to his ankle and collarbone, so time will tell how much those have really affected him due to his limited snaps in 2017.

Who's going to take him and where?

Basically, every NFL team right needs to pick up some receivers, so there’s definitely a demand for guys like James. The general consensus among most mock drafts right now is that James could go off the board in later rounds, possibly the end of day two or sometime on day three. Mostly just because I like the idea of him staying in Tennessee and adding an extra dimension to Marcus Mariota’s offense, I’m going to say...

Titans in the sixth round