Jones, 19, is yet to win his first cap for the senior side but is contention for a starting berth against Montenegro on Friday, with he and Manchester City's Richards vying for the right-back berth in Fabio Capello's side.
Comfortable at right-back, centre-back or as a defensive midfielder, Jones' versatility seems likely to make him an asset for club and country for years to come, and Richards thinks that he has the makings of a future Three Lions' skipper.
"Phil Jones is going to be England captain one day,'' Richards told The Guardian. "He's got everything: pace, reads the game well, is good on the ball.
"He's at the right club as well because Sir Alex Ferguson promotes young players.''
Despite playing regularly for Manchester City, Richards and has made just one appearance for England under Capello, and the defender believes that his lack of playing time is down to stiff competiton at right-back.
"I think I'm twice the player I was when I made my England debut at 19. There's no reason I can't get in there but it's about biding my time.''