By Christopher Wuensch
PAUL RICHARDSON, WR
There’s a great chance that the first Colorado player taken during the 2014 NFL Draft weekend will be a junior — making it three years in a row and counting for the Buffs.
Especially if Paul Richardson keeps progressing. The speedy wide receiver is back and showing no ill effects from a torn ACL that caused him to miss the entire 2012 season.
Prior to the injury, Richardson was on track to challenge most of the Buffs’ receiving records. The junior has five touchdowns of 50 yards or more in his career and is already in the top-10 on CU’s all-time touchdown list.
A monster year from Richardson — if he can build a rapport with likely starting quarterback Connor Wood — and the Los Angeles native could put himself in a nice position to be taken in the 2014 draft by a team in need of a player with big-play potential.
The duo hooked up for 169 yards through the air during the Buffs' Black and Gold Spring Game. Of those yards, 85 came on a touchdown grab and run.
CHIDERA UZO-DIRIBE, DL
The only thing opposing quarterbacks fear more than having to spell Chidera Uzo-Diribe’s name is having the Colorado Buffaloes’ defensive lineman chasing them.
Uzo-Diribe can be described using one word: beast.
As a junior, he paced the Buffs’ defense with 7 sacks and an additional 10 tackles behind the line of scrimmage — both team highs.
The 6-3, 250-pound senior is as durable as he is athletic, having not missed a game in his three-year career. With a senior season under his belt as a team leader of a maturing defense, there’s plenty of reason to believe teams will target the Corona, Calif., native to fill their draft needs.
DERRICK WEBB, ILB
They don’t give you frequent flyer miles for “flying to the ball.” Sometimes, however, you get rewarded by being drafted by an NFL franchise.
That’s what Colorado’s Derrick Webb is hoping. The high-energy senior led the Buffs in tackles with 88 in 2012, 61 of them solo. At 6-foot, 230 pounds, he’s not afraid to hit, which might explain why he’s also a squad leader on the CU special teams unit.
Webb enters his senior campaign with a chance to leave Boulder as the program’s all-time leader in special teams tackles.
It’ll be hard to ignore a hard-hitting, versatile player such as Webb come draft weekend.