Feb 25, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson does a defensive drill during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
This afternoon, we take a look at another highly touted prospect on the defensive side of the football. Earlier this week, we speculated about a change in draft strategy for the New York Jets. Specifically, whether or not the release of Po’uha and losing Mike DeVito will change the strategy of the Jets from drafting an edge rusher to drafting an interior lineman. With that we took a look at Star Lotulelei.
In the same vein, we are going to take another look at a defensive tackle today. Today, we look at Sheldon Richardson from Missouri.
He measures in at 6’2″, 294 pounds. At the NFL combine, he ran a 5.02 40 yard dash. His broad jump was 116 inches, showing a pretty strong lower body burst.
In his senior season, Richardson led all interior defensive linemen in the conference in tackles (75), adding 10.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks for good measure.
Here are some highlights for you:
And here are some clips from a game against Alabama:
PROS: The first thing that jumps out is Sheldon’s athletic pursuit of the football. From wherever he is coming from, he is always around the football. He has excellent closing speed where he can get back into the play, no matter how bad he has been beaten. I also like the “swim” move very much. When he does get his hands up, he can beat his opponent with the swim, a very highly developed move. He gets excellent pressure on the quarterback from the interior, which is not easy to do, and he is a “finisher” when he tackles someone.
CONS: Sometimes, if his work with his hands gets a little “lazy”, Richardson can get turned out of the play. He is such a force in the hole when he is in position, he just needs to be there consistently. Get those hands up and fight your guy off, every time. He is a little inconsistent with his explosion off of the line of scrimmage, but I am nitpicking.
The Jets could do a lot worse than drafting this guy.