Sheldon Richardson -- Game Wrecker

Sheldon Richardson vs. Florida (2012) (via Mario Clavel)

6-2, 295

2012: 75 tackles, 10.5 for loss

Word is that despite running in the 5s at the combine, dude ran in the 4.7s at his pro day. The tape seems to indicate that the pro day numbers are more realistic. You just don't see the kind of mobility that this guy displays every day. Its freakish. He's quick and explosive and he's 300 freakin pounds!! Watch the clips from the Florida game above, and remind yourself of this. Its not normal.

Like just about everybody, I had no clue about this guy. We had three high draft picks on three interior DLs over the last couple years in Kenrick, Coples and Wilkerson. I didn't think that there was a chance in hell that we'd go with another interior DL. All three are athletic as hell, with really high upsides. Like everybody, I just didn't even look at Richardson really. But after we made the pick I watched some tape, and the more tape I watched, the more it became evident that it was impossible NOT to take him. He couldn't be more perfect.

Contrary to popular belief, I believe that the draft is for creating strengths. Most people seem to believe that "need" should weigh heavily in the equation. I disagree. I believe that draft picks take two to three years to develop, and that if you use "need" as a major factor in the process, then you will have that need for two to three years. I think you should use the draft to create strength. You do that by having an understanding of what the strength of coaching staff is, the type of player that they will tap into and draw out the most from. You then take that coaching talent and draft the most talented players that you can find at that position and you use that to create leverage for your team. You impose your will on games. It is not the team with the least weaknesses that wins. It is the team that can play the game on their terms that wins. The team that dictates is stronger.

The strength of our coaching staff is d-line development and Rex's organized chaos. What better fit is there than an interior DL that is as mobile as a linebacker and that you can rush from a standing position? Watch the clip of Richardson above, and watch how often they rush him from a standing position. Now think about Rex Ryan and all the funky things that he likes to do. All the confusion he likes to create. Safeties and LBs creeping up to scrimmage and then dropping into coverage. Or creeping up and overloading a side. Now imagine Kenrick on the nose and shooting a gap; Wilkerson on one end and Coples on the other, and how uncomfortable o-lines will be blocking them solo. Now imagine a freakishly athletic DL thats standing up and moving around constantly. You have no idea what gap he's going to be in, if he's coming or dropping, and he's quick as a cat and LOVES to shoot a gap and blow up stuff. Deal with that front four. Deal with that front four plus Rex and his crazy blitz packages.

What do you do when Richardson is standing and Coples is standing next to him? Richardson is just inside the OTs inside shoulder and Coples just outside his outside shoulder. Does the OT leave Richardson to reach out to Coples? Is the OG on the inside quick enough to get to Richardson in time? Does the OT block down on Richardson and leave Coples solo on a RB? Is that middle backer really coming this time? What's that safety doing over there?

Yeah... I like the sound of this Richardson guy.

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