Thursday, January 17, 2013

Prospect Profile: DT Sheldon Richardson - Missouri

Name:  Sheldon Richardson
Height:  6' - 4"
Weight:  295 lbs.
Class:  Redshirt Junior
Hometown:  St. Louis, Mo
DOB:  01/01/1989 (24 years old)

Mizzou Tigers Profile:

2012 ALL-Sec 1st Team (Media)
2012  All-Sec 2nd Team (Coaches) 

2012 Senior Year:    Selected First Team All-Southeastern Conference (Media selection) for the 2012 college football season. Richardson, a junior tackle, became Mizzou's first-ever All-SEC designee, as he was named to the 2nd-team for his outstanding play in 2012. Richardson led all SEC interior linemen with 75 tackles (2nd-best on the Tiger squad).

The St. Louis, Mo. native tied for the team lead with 10.5 tackles for loss, and was second on the team with his 4.0 quarterback sacks. He added a team-best seven QB hurries, broke up three passes, forced three fumbles, recovered two fumbles and blocked a kick on the season, as well. - Missouri football

2011 Junior Year:  Made his much-anticipated debut with the Tigers, and provided much-needed depth in the trenches as he amassed 37 tackles, including 8.0 TFLs and 2 QB sacks in 13 games (including 2 starts) ... Closed the year by making 2 stops and a half-sack against North Carolina in the Independence Bowl ... Recorded a tackle for loss in overtime against Arizona State ... finished WIU game with two assisted tackles, both coming for a loss ... teamed up with Brayden Burnett to record his first sack as a Tiger early in the first quarter ... assisted on three tackles against Oklahoma in Norman ... recorded three tackles at Kansas State while also batting down a pass at the line of scrimmage ... finished the Iowa State game with four tackles, 1.5 of which were for loss ... Made his first career start against Oklahoma State and finished with one tackle for a two yard loss ... finished the Texas A&M game with eight tackles, including an assisted TFL ... was a force in the backfield all game long against Baylor, finishing with five tackles including 1.5 for loss, a half a sack and a quarterback hurry.

Junior College/High School:  One of the most highly-coveted athletes to come out of the state of Missouri in recent years, who returned to his home state after a two-year stop at the College of the Sequoias in Visalia, Calif. ... Was ranked by as the No. 3 junior college prospect in the nation at any postion, even after he was redshirted in 2010 due to a wrist injury ... Was a dominant defensive lineman and tight end at St. Louis' Gateway Tech High School, where he was ranked by as the No. 4 overall player (any position) in the nation, as well as being the No. 1 defensive tackle prospect in the country by several national outlets ... Also checked in as the No. 1 overall player (any position) in the state of Missouri, and originally signed with Mizzou as part of the 2009 signing class, before going the junior college route ...Was named as a 2008 EA Sports First Team All-American after a senior season at Gateway Tech which included 88 tackles and 19 sacks, while adding seven fumble recoveries, five forced fumbles and one interception ... Scored six defensive touchdowns on the year, as well, while adding 27 receptions for 541 yards and eight touchdowns at the tight end position.

2012 Senior Highlights:

2011 Junior Year Highlights:

Strengths (+):
+ Good Motor and will chase the play until the end
Good Penetraion and strength at point of attack
Quickness and speed off snap are NFL caliber which helps him beat trap blocks
Good in both pass rush and run defense
Smart player who doesn't take stupid penalties
Could play DE in a 3-4 scheme

Weaknesses (-):
- Needs to work on technique a bit
- Had shoulder surgery in 2011
- Tends to play a little too high at times
- Needs to chase less from behind and penetrate more to make the plays
- Needs to work on tackling in open field

NFL Player Comparison: DT - Amobi Okoye - Bears

Analysis: Some question how hard he'll work once getting a first round contract.  Richardson has worked his way up the draft board though with a solid 2012 season.  Richardson also showed a knack for stepping up his game versus stiffer competition in his 2012 season.  While he has a good motor, good speed, and chases plays well his only standout year was his 2012 campaign.  Some teams may wonder if it was a fluke or just a preview of whats to come from Richardson. Richardson should be drafted somewhere within the 12-20 range depending on how well he does at the combine.  Richardson could become a top 12-15 DT in the NFL in just a couple seasons if he improves his upper body strength and pad level.

Raiders Outlook:

Raiders will be looking to draft some D-lineman this draft but it's doubtful Richardson would be taken before Star Lotulelei. The only way the Raiders look at Richardson is he has an outstanding combine or they trade down a little ways.

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