2013 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri

Grant Halverson

Big Blue View continues looking at 2013 NFL Draft prospects today. Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson could be a fit for the New York Giants with the 19th overall pick.

The subject of today's 2013 NFL Draft prospect profile is Sheldon Richardson, a very talented defensive tackle prospect from Missouri who could be a viable option for the New York Giants with their first round pick at 19th overall.

Richardson was one of the nation's top high school recruits, but was forced to attend junior college (The College of the Sequoias) because of academic problems.

[Complete SB Nation Draft Coverage]

Pros

Extremely athletic, might enter the league as one of the five most athletic defensive tackles. Richardson has great closing speed and short area quickness. Richardson should be a very good pass rusher at the next level as long as he continues to improve the use of his hands. Richardson should excel in a scheme where he's asked to split the gap and make plays.

[Big Blue View 2013 NFL Draft Big Board]

Cons

Good, but not great bulk (listed at 6-foot-4, 295 pounds), he's at the bottom range of where NFL teams like their defensive tackles in terms of weight. Richardson has had academic problems. Richardson needs to improve his tackling, and he's not going to be a guy who eats up space and holds blockers to make plays. Had a shoulder injury that required surgery and is something that needs to be look at during the combine.

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Player comparison: Cullen Jenkins (NFL.com), Henry Melton (Mockingthedraft), Kevin Williams (walterfootball.com)

My comparison: He's built and athletically similar to former No. 3 overall pick Gerald McCoy, a player who really came into his own this year and was terrific for the Buccaneers.

Does He Fit With The Giants?

A defensive line prospect who has excellent measurables? Sure sounds like he fits. The question is will he be available? There are three defensive tackles in this class who have a great chance to be top 20 picks: Star Lotulelei, Jonathan Hankins, and Richardson.

Prospect Video

This is from @AaronAloysius, another member of draftbreakdown.com and not @jmpasq

Big Board Rankings


CBS Sports - 10th

National Football Post - 10th

Mocking the Draft - 8th

Sports Illustrated - 14th

Big Blue View Board-12th

Final Thought

Richardson is hearing top 10 whispers right now, but after the combine he might be hearing top 10 shouts. Defensive tackles who are as athletic and productive as he is (75 tackles, 10.5 for loss, 4 sacks) don't come around all that often. Gerald McCoy, Fletcher Cox, Cullen Jenkins, Henry Melton are a few players he has been compared to because of his unique straight line speed and agility. Richardson will likely be considered heavily by any team picking out of the top five and a player who should only continue to get better with more coaching.

Follow me on twitter @NFLmocks

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