In a surprising move on Thursday night at Radio City Music Hall, the New York Jets took defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson with the No. 13 overall selection. Find out whether the Richardson pick is a boom or a bust for John Idzik and company.
The Pick: Sheldon Richardson
, DT, Missouri
The Player: Sheldon Richardson joins a long list Missouri university standouts to enter the NFL ranks. Richardson came out of high school as the fourth-ranked recruit in 2009 by Scout/FOXSportsNEXT. His ranking surpassed those of top collegiate players including: Trent Richardson, Matt Barkley, and Manti Te'o. Due to poor grades, Richardson was forced to forego NCAA athletics for two years and take a less traditional route to the NFL Draft. After attending the College of the Sequoias, Richardson joined the Tigers in 2010. Despite criticism regarding his maturity, Richardson stepped up in a big way for Mizzou. He led SEC defensive tackles in total tackles this past year with 75. Richardson is an imposing presence in any scheme and should transition well to the NFL.
Richardson joins a Jets team that has lost a bit of a punch from its front seven. Gang Green is in dire need of a player to dominate in the trenches and provide pressure to opposing quarterbacks. Still, Richardson will likely be a transitional player for the Jets and not play every down initially. The Mizzou alumist, although not the Jets biggest need, is still a dynamic player. With Richardson, the Jets get a big boost on their line and fans should grow accustomed to seeing him bring down passers for sacks all season long.
The Comparison: Cullen Jenkins
. Like Jenkins, Richardson is a huge player with freakish athleticism. Both are great at breaching offensive lines and hurrying the passer. Both players can play multiple positions with the versatility to play defensive tackle and defensive end. In short, Richardson can bring a complete game to the New York Jets
. His playmaking ability will make him a fan favorite and garner him the attention he deserves. On the downside, Richardson has a mouth like Ndamukong Suh
. Richardson was suspended one game for calling out an SEC rival in Georgia
. In a media market like New York, this knack for sounding off could work out against him. Then again, his head coach is no stanger to speaking his mind.
Richardson may not have been on a lot of scout's radar but he certainly is deserving of the No. 12 overall selection. While he may not be as highly-touted as Jarvis Jones
or Sharrif Floyd
, Richardson should mold well with the Jets. The only skepticism surrounding the selection is that it does not fill a big need for the Jets. The defense can be as dominant as it wants but if the offense cannot put points on the board then it is all for naught. John Idzik and company might have been better suited to take an offense weapon to boost their passing game. There was a lot of talk about the Jets taking West Virginia
wide reciever Tavon Austin
before St. Louis made the surprise move exchange picks with the Buffalo Bills
and leapfrog the Jets to the No. 8 position. With Austin gone, the Jets had the opportunity to take Notre Dame
tight end Tyler Eifert
. The Fighting Irishman could have been a great replacement for the departed Dustin Keller
and is drawing comparisons to the matchup nightmare that Rob Gronkowski
is for New England. While Richardson may be a superb player, he is not a superb fit for a team that is struggling offensively.