Draft close-up: DT Sheldon Richardson
The rookie minicamp begins Friday, so we're catching you up with the Jets' draft picks:
Player: Sheldon Richardson, first round
Position: Defensive tackle
Projected impact: Barring an upset, Richardson should be the opening-day starter in Mike DeVito's
old position, defensive tackle in the 3-4 front. He'll bring more
athleticism to the position than DeVito, but Richardson must adapt to a
two-gap scheme. That can be frustrating for a young lineman who played
in a one-gap, 4-3 scheme in college. Richardson's role became clear when
it was revealed that Quinton Coples was moving to outside linebacker.
On if he's surprised he went to a 3-4 team: "No, I
knew I was kind of versatile coming into the draft, and I knew all of
the teams liked my ability. I mean, they can find a way to put me on the
field and be productive so, no, I wasn’t surprised a 3-4 team selected
me at all. I was just surprised the Jets got me because after the
combine that was kind of the last time I talked to them."
On how he was used in his 14-tackle performance against Alabama: "Straight
forward, I penetrated gaps, one-gap defense at the time and I pretty
much pursued the ball really. I was running all over the field. They
were gashing us pretty good the whole game, and I mean, it was a great
experience for me to go against those guys, but it wasn’t just Alabama. I
got week-in, week-out film, and they’ve seen the consistent play and
how I got after the ball-carrier."
On playing in Rex Ryan’s system: "For me, it’s
going to be a great experience. I watched 'Hard Knocks' two years ago,
and I was liking the intensity he brought to the team every practice.
That’s just what he wants, his team to get the same output, as much
input as he put into it. He’s a great coach. I know he wants his defense
to come with it. He tells me they finished eighth overall last year and
he said he wasn’t happy with that, and you have to respect a man like
On his athleticism for his size: "That has to go
back to my upbringing. I played multiple sports. I never really just
[played] only football. I [played] basketball, baseball and my father
kept me year-round and most definitely said, 'If I don’t have you doing
something constructive, you’re going to eat me out of house and home.' I
pretty much just had to stay busy."