Draft Capsule: DT Sheldon Richardson

Draft Capsule: DT Sheldon Richardson

March 11, 2013, 6:00 pm
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Jake Flannigan

Sheldon Richardson (DT), Missouri

6-2 | 294 lbs.

2012 Stats:

75 tackles, 10.5 TFL, 4 sacks, 3 FF

Projection:

1st round

Strengths:

Has the ability to be a dynamic player playing inside for years to come. Lightning-quick feet paired with active hands make Richardson a constant annoyance for offensive lineman. Impressive lateral quickness that allows him to track down both quarterbacks and ball-carriers on the edge. Richardson’s vision is a tool that is used in coverage and while attacking.

Weaknesses:

Sometimes he becomes off-balance while trying to squeeze between gaps. Off-season shoulder surgery could be looked at as a negative, but in actuality may become a positive if Richardson is able to gain upper body strength going forward. Athleticism allows him to make difficult ‘home run’ diving tackles, but also sets him up to miss routine ones. Not an overpowering defender, and often lacks pure strength to take on big, physical offensive lineman.

Fit for the Bears:

Richardson is not at a position of great need for the Bears, but his pure athletic ability is nothing to sneeze at. Although the Bears have Henry Melton franchise tagged in 2013, there could be a desire to invest in a cheaper, long-term option to disrupt opposing NFC North quarterbacks. There is a good chance Richardson could be off the board before the Bears select, so general manager Phil Emery may not even have to be tempted to go after the defensive game-changer from Mizzou.