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2022 NFL Draft Profile: Tyrice Richie

NIU receiver Tyrice Richie is ready to take the next step. With the 2022 NFL Draft around the corner, we profile the Huskie product.

Tyrice Richie NIU
Photo: NIU Huskies Athletics

There are many words that you can use to describe Tyrice Richie’s game. That said, the first and most popular description that comes to mind is dynamic. In three seasons at NIU, Tyrice Richie had 129 receptions, 1,552 yards, with nine touchdowns and a 12.0 YPC average. Richie was a threat to take it to the house any time he got his hands on the ball. As you’ll see on his tape, the shifty receiver can stop on a dime and switch directions with the best of them.

In addition, Tyrice also saw plenty of end arounds during his career at NIU, averaging 4.3 yards per carry on 16 carries. He is clutch, can run the whole route tree, runs polished routes, makes contested catches, and has blazing speed.

His College Journey

Richie originally committed to NIU in 2017, left the program for Dodge City Community College, then returned in 2019. Upon his return, Tyrice was considered the top option in the passing game until his final game as a Huskie. During the 2020 season, he saw career highs in receptions (53), yards (597), and touchdowns (4), for his efforts in the shortened season. He was selected First Team All-Mac as well.

When I say Richie is a threat to take it the distance on virtually any play, I mean it. The Homewood-Flossmoor native has speed that will instantly translate at the next level. Unfortunately for Richie, he was not able to run the 40-yard dash at the NIU Pro Day. However, any scout or GM with two fully functioning eyes can see that Richie can fly.

He checks in at 6-feet, 200 pounds, which isn’t the ideal size for a receiver. However, his ability to go up and make 50/50 catches makes up for the extra few inches of height a scout would prefer. Although Richie was mainly the No. 1 WR at NIU, he was found lining up in a variety of different positions. I could see Richie being more of a slot receiver in the NFL in addition to returning kicks or punts at the next level.

Going Forward

Richie was injured during the Kent State Game in early November last year, but assured me at NIU’s Pro Day that he was back to 100% and ready for whatever comes next. Tyrice has since worked out at the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears rookie pro days and mentioned he has a workout the Detroit Lions as well.

Three team workouts despite coming off an injury in November speaks volumes to the level of player Tyrice Richie is. Before the injury, he was a lock to be selected on day three of the NFL Draft. After the injury, he will likely be passed on, unless someone takes a flyer on him in the sixth or seventh round.

If that is not the case, he might be a priority UDFA that will either sign on draft night or in the days directly following the draft. Richie is coming into the NFL at the arguable pinnacle of the passing game for the league. There will be a plethora of opportunities for him to showcase his talents in training camp and during the preseason en route to an opportunity to make an NFL roster in the fall.

To the NFL

When NIU needed Richie the most, he came through. For context, the clip above is from week one of the 2021 season with a brand new quarterback in Rocky Lombardi in addition to coming off an 0-6 season. To add to the situation, they were on the road against a power five opponent. Richie took over as he did many other times during his career at NIU. He is a ultra competitive player in between the lines. His skill set should transfer over nicely to the NFL and whatever team takes a chance on Richie will be getting an immensely talented receiver and return man.

He can run the whole route tree and will expose DB’s with his precise route running. It goes without being said, but Richie also has great hands, rarely dropping routine passes. He has the ability to make the circus and acrobatic catches, and has proved time and time again that no moment is too big for him.

All three teams that brought Richie in for a workout are desperate for a wide receivers. We saw it last year with the Detroit Lions and Amon-Ra St. Brown. Young wide receivers can come in and make plays right away in this league. One thing is certain, we have not seen the last of Tyrice Richie on the football field making plays, and I am excited for him to find out where his next opportunity will come as he worked his tail off at NIU to be in this position.

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