Sheldon Richardson. Running towards Nashville? - Ed Zurga
The shocker pick at 10 (tell us something we don't know about the front office, right?) just might happen.
Prospect name: Sheldon Richardson
Height/Weight: 6'4 295
School and class: Missouri, Redshirt Junior
112 Tackles (75 in 2012)
18 Tackles for Loss (10.5 in 2012)
6 Sacks (4 in 2012)
4 Passes Defensed (3 in 2012)
4 Forced Fumbles (3 in 2012)
Richardson is an explosive athlete given his size (6'4 295). He can play both tackle and end without losing much at either position. The speed and agility is simply incredible. Richardson has a non stop motor in the mold of a former Titan, KVB and current Vikings end Jared Allen. Consistently in the opponent's backfield making plays for loss. He can also go sideline to sideline well for his size. Richardson was pretty much the only one on the Tigers defense that showed up to play Alabama, beating DJ Fluker multiple times. He was a force to be reckoned with in 2012 after posting a JJ Watt stat line of 75 tackles, 4 sacks, 4 passes defensed, and 3 forced fumbles.
He can be stone walled by better and stronger guards such in the Kentucky game by Larry Warford (who, by the way, might be the best guard in the country) and to some degree by Alabama's Barrett Jones. Needs to add more strength to his game instead of relying on his speed repertoire as often as he does. Richardson does have a slight injury history that forced him to miss spring practice as a junior but it's not too concerning. He famously went to the press and spouted off about the SEC's perceived shortcomings before the UGA game and got humbled rather harshly by the Bulldogs. However, he did apologize for the misguided comments and nothing was made of it any further.
Would I consider taking him at 10th overall? Yes I would without hesitation especially if Senderrick Marks leaves via free agency. Richardson would provide another pass rushing weapon that Jerry Gray/Gregg Williams/Keith Millard can deploy along with giving Jurrell Casey and Mike Martin valuable rest. Should Marks decide to stay on, that's even more depth and competition. I really like Richardson's versatility, which allows him to provide fresh legs to either DE (where the Titans are critically short of it) and DT. Not many guys his size are as explosive of an athlete like he is. I'd rank him in the top three in the DT class.