Rapid Reaction: DT Sheldon Richardson

Sheldon RichardsonHere’s a quick hit on new Jet defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson of Alabama and how he’ll fit with the Jets.

What he can bring: There might be questions about Richardson and his readiness for the NFL, but game film will get the final word every time.  Richardson is an extremely disruptive force on the defensive front and and can re-route running plays based on his backfield penetration skills.  Richardson is more of a gapping than plugging lineman and he’ll need to hone his pass rushing technique … good thing he gets Karl Dunbar and Rex to help him with that.  Richardson is super versatile, able to line up at the tackle, end, and even stand up from time to time.

Fitting in with the Jets: Another year and another player who seems best suited to a defensive tackle in a four man front or as an end in a three man front.  Richardson is a great football player and his film against the SEC was extremely impressive, proving that he’ll be ready to play at the NFL level.   The Jets have systematically overhauled their defensive line in the last three plus years and Richardson is going to add great depth to the already dominant Wilkerson and the nascent Coples.  Even so, the Jets want scheme versatility and Richardson allows the defensive front to anchor on Coples and Wilkerson and then shuttle in and out Ellis, Barnes, Garay with Richardson.  So where does the pass rush come from?  With Coples and Wilkerson already in house, I believed that while adding a top guy would be a nice play, the Jets now don’t need to find a premier pass rusher because of all the meaty goodness that they have in place along the defensive front.  The Giants have NASCAR, and the Jets will now counter that strategy with their “Craftsman Truck Series” defensive front.