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Sheldon Richardson Named AP Defensive Rookie of the Year

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson has been named AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Richardson, the 13th overall pick in April's draft on a selection acquired when New York traded star cornerback Darrelle Revis to Tampa Bay, won a close race over Buffalo linebacker Kiko Alonso. Richardson received 23 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league. Alonso, a second-round choice (46th overall), got 19 in balloting announced Saturday night.

Good for Richardson, and good for the voters. Usually Richardson's lack of sexy stats would have worked against them. They looked deeper and appreciated the guy who consistently won his assignments, even though a lot of it was dirty work that did not show up in the box score.

The sky is the limit for Richardson. Just imagine how good he could be with an offseason to hone his crazy athleticism into more productive pass rushing.