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Sheldon Richardson heads to the Jets, gets mixed reactions

Friday, April 26, 2013 | 4:23 p.m. CDT; updated 5:11 p.m. CDT, Friday, April 26, 2013

COLUMBIA — Former Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson was drafted by the New York Jets on Thursday. Richardson was the 13th overall pick in the first round of the NFL draft.

Richardson could compete for the Jets' starting nose tackle position against the team's 2011 third-round pick, Kenrick Ellis.

Prior to the draft, SB Nation's Matthew Fairburn ranked Richardson as the second-best defensive tackle, while Dan Kadar ranked him fifth overall.

What others are saying

New York Jets fans were divided about the pick. Some fans booed their team's pick, while Gang Green Nation writer Scott Salmon was "extremely happy" and said that fans should watch Richardson's tape before deciding they don't like him.

Bleacher Report's Matt Stein said that Richardson will be a boost for the young and talented Jets defense and also said that he has athleticism, versatility and is "nimble and quick" for a player his size, 6 foot 2, 194 pounds. 

"Richardson is an excellent one-gap defensive tackle; arguably the best in this draft," said the Yard Barker's Mike Nolan. He said the concern surrounding the Jets pick isn't over Richardson's talent but over the team's more urgent needs in other positions.

USA Today's Jason McIntyre was confused over the Jets decision to draft a defensive player when they don't have a pass rusher or a tight end, and said they should have traded down. "The Jets already have Kenrick Ellis, who has looked good at times, to play the middle of the 3-4. What are they doing with Richardson?" McIntyre said. 

Fan and teammate reactions

Playing history

Richardson went to Gateway Tech High School in St. Louis and was ranked the No. 4 overall recruit in 2009 by Rivals.com. He planned to play for Missouri but was academically ineligible so he went to the College of the Sequoias before transferring to Missouri for 2011 season.

He recorded 37 tackles and two sacks in a reserve role for Missouri in 2011. Despite limited playing time, Richardson was named an All-Big 12 honorable mention by the conference's coaches.

Richardson made a name for himself at the start of the SEC season in 2012 when he said that Georgia played "old-man football."

On the field, Richardson finished the season with 75 tackles, the most in the SEC for any interior defensive lineman. He had 10.5 tackles-for-loss, 4.5 sacks and three forced fumbles, earning him second-team All-SEC honors. 

In November, Missouri's athletics department announcedthat Richardson would opt out of his final season of eligibility to enter the NFL draft.


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