COLUMBIA — Two former Missouri football players were selected by NFL teams in the draft this past week. Sheldon Richardson was drafted by the New York Jets in the first round as the 13th overall pick. Zaviar Gooden was drafted by the Tennessee Titans as the last pick in the third round. Several other former Missouri players were not drafted but joined NFL teams as free agents.
The Missouri softball team took two of three games in a series against the Kentucky Wildcats in Lexington, Ky. Missouri has two series left — against Western Illinois in Macomb, Ill., and against Tennessee in Columbia — before the Southeastern Conference Tournament is scheduled to begin May 8 in Lexington, Ky.
Sheldon Richardson, Zaviar Gooden drafted by NFL teams
Sheldon Richardson, a former Missouri defensive tackle, was drafted by the New York Jets as the 13th overall pick in the first round of the NFL draft on Thursday. He was an All-SEC player last season with 75 tackles and four sacks for Missouri.
Richardson, who is from St. Louis, was the sixth football player from Missouri to be drafted into the NFL in the first round since 2009, adding to one of the highest numbers of first-round selections among schools around the nation in recent years. Jeremy Maclin and Ziggy Hood were drafted in the first round in 2009; Sean Weatherspoon was drafted in the first round in 2010; Aldon Smith and Blaine Gabbert were drafted in the first round in 2011; and now Sheldon Richardson joins them as a former Missouri player drafted in the first round in 2013.
Former Missouri linebacker Zaviar Gooden, who had 61 tackles his senior season, was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the last pick of the third round — No. 97 overall. Gooden, who is from Pflugerville, Texas, had the fastest 40-yard dash — 4.47 — among linebackers at the NFL Combine in February.
Undrafted Missouri football players receive NFL free agent deals
Several other former Missouri football players, who were not selected in the NFL draft, have agreed to terms with NFL teams.
Running back Kendial Lawrence has agreed to a deal with the Dallas Cowboys, according to his agent. Brad Madison, a defensive lineman, will stay in Missouri as a defensive end and long snapper for the Kansas City Chiefs, according to his Twitter account.
Wide receiver T.J. Moe and offensive lineman Elvis Fisher will both join the New England Patriots, while Kenronte Walker, a former Missouri safety, will join the Cleveland Browns.
Running back Jared McGriff-Culver, who never started for Missouri, said he will tryout for the Oakland Raiders on May 9 to 11.
Chelsea Thomas adds two wins as Missouri softball takes two of three from Kentucky
Chelsea Thomas, already Missouri softball's leader in career wins, added two more wins to her career over the weekend in Lexington, Ky. On Friday, Thomas pitched a nine-inning complete game, striking out seven batters and giving up five hits, as Missouri beat Kentucky 2-1. Senior Nicole Hudson hit her 13th home run of the season.
After losing the second game of the series Saturday, Missouri defeated Kentucky on Sunday to win the series. Thomas shut out Kentucky, allowing just three hits and two walks as Missouri won 7-0, improving Thomas' record to 19-4 on the season. Missouri is now 29-9 overall and 13-7 in SEC play.