When I created my mock draft, I picked Sharrif Floyd for the New York Jets at the ninth overall selection. I had originally penciled in Sheldon Richardson, but removed him when I saw Floyd was still available. So I hope you can understand how excited I am that the team has taken Richardson at the thirteenth overall selection. As Richardson has said, "Everybody wants a piece of Tom Brady." He's here to kill the quarterback.
I expect this to mean significantly more 4-3 looks, with Richardson, Muhammad Wilkerson, Quinton Coples, and Kenrick Ellis/Antonio Garay. Garay is more of a pass rushing tackle, so he will probably be used more on third downs than Ellis. Essentially, the job of the defensive line will be to penetrate and disrupt the play, taking the pressure off the linebackers (and let's face it, our linebackers are pretty terrible anyway). The line will become a pass-rushing force that rips offensive lines apart from the inside out.
Generally speaking, Wilkerson, Coples, and Richardson are all extremely dynamic in that they can play most positions on the line. They are all quick and explosive athletes that can exploit mismatches. It is difficult to one-on-one any of them, as they will ruin an offensive lineman's night if they try to do so. Obviously, unless a team is in max-protect, someone (or multiple) will be facing a one-on-one which they can exploit. They can rotate on the line to find those mismatches, penetrate, and make plays.
Our good friend Joe Goodberry from Cincy Jungle had this to say about Richardson, as he ranked Richardson the sixth best player in the draft:
Explosive interior rusher. Richardson is a sideline to sideline defender that is as disruptive as it gets. Could use added power and technique (staying low throughout), but he's a 6-8 sack interior player instantly. Rare to see his quickness and acceleration inside with a great motor.
I know many fans are upset about this selection, but if there's one thing I trust Rex Ryan (and Karl Dunbar) with, it's selecting defensive lineman. I strongly encourage you to watch Richardson's tape before you automatically decide that you hate the pick. Many fans would riot over not selecting another offensive player, but I would argue the team should next look at Arthur Brown to complete the linebacking corps and make the transition to a 4-3 complete.