2013 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri

by Cory J. Bonini on February 25, 2013 @ 17:01:44 PDT

 


Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson decided to bypass his senior season with the Tigers and enter the 2013 NFL Draft.

Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Classic case of risk vs. reward

Richardson boasted sterling numbers in 2012, logging a line of 75 tackles (10.5 for loss), three forced fumbles and 4.0 sacks.

Strengths

  • Stout build at 6-foot-2 1/2, 294 pounds
  • Devastating first step for play-ruining penetration
  • Versatility - can play 3-4 nose or end and 4-3 interior tackle, which is where he is best at
  • Speed-power combination that is tough to find
  • High motor - hustles after the ball carrier
  • Decent array of moves that includes a swim, rip and spin
  • Tremendous upside
  • Impressive short-area burst for his size
  • Explosive tackler
  • Looks to strip the ball

Weaknesses

  • Limited experience - started 13 of 24 games, with only one season of standout production
  • Needs to do a better job of firing out of his stance - can be taken out of a play because he stands up
  • Almost as much risk as upside
  • Struggled to get going at Missouri after being an elite recruit; had to attend community college after academic ineligibility
  • Injury history (shoulder surgery in 2011)
  • Can be too aggressive and be taken out of plays
  • Multiple team rules violations

Expected draft placement

Richardson has top-15 talent but may slide a little because of his risk-reward ratio. Teams that could draft him include the Miami Dolphins (No. 12), Carolina Panthers (No. 14), New Orleans Saints (No. 15), Dallas Cowboys (No. 18), Chicago Bears (No. 20) and Minnesota Vikings (No. 22).

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About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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