In order to familiarize fans with some of the top names in the 2013 NFL Draft, Chargers.com will be highlighting a different prospect each weekday leading up to the first day of the draft on April 25th.
We continue the series with a scouting report of Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson.
Name: Sheldon Richardson
Position: Defensive Tackle
Sheldon Richardson is an intriguing prospect.
He measures in at 6-foot-2, 294-pounds, which in today’s day and age is considered undersized. But Richardson’s quick first step, ability to pursue sideline to sideline and his fast straight away speed off the snap makes him a special talent at the defensive tackle position.
In fact, it’s his impressive sheer athleticism that has him on the brink of being an early selection in April’s NFL Draft.
Academic issues prevented Richardson from playing Division-1 football out of high school. After two years excelling at the junior college level, he turned down offers from top notch programs to play for his hometown Missouri Tigers. As a part-time player as a junior, he still managed to stand out, being an All-Big 12 honorable mention by recording 37 tackles, eight for a loss and two sacks as a backup. Richardson was elevated into the starting lineup his senior season when Missouri moved to the tougher SEC division. In a promising sign, his game elevated as well. He earned second-team All-SEC honors by leading all interior defensive linemen in the conference with 75 tackles in addition to 10.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.
It’s no secret that Richardson’s quickness is his best asset. The jump he gets off the ball and his ability to penetrate the line with a number of cuts, twists and slants is top notch. However, he needs to work on his overall strength to better complement his athletic moves at the line of scrimmage. He prefers operating in space rather than in tight confines, which is rare for a defensive tackle.
Still, Richardson’s overall production speaks for itself and is a major reason why there are many teams eager to select him come April.
40-yard Dash: 5.02
Bench Press: 30
Vertical Jump: 32.0 inches
Broad Jump: 116.0 inches
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed above do not represent the opinions or policies of the San Diego Chargers’ front office staff, coaches or executives.