2013 New York Jets NFL Draft Review and Analysis

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Apr 26, 2013; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets first round selection defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson is introduced to the media at the New York Jets Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

2. First round, 13th overall: Sheldon Richardson, DL, Missouri

Well, we knew the Jets were going to go after a pass rusher in this year’s draft, but we didn’t have a clue it was going to be a big man up front. Richardson is one of the more intriguing prospects in this draft, and I had him ranked in the top 20 but I was confused when the Jets made this pick because this is a player who seems like an ideal fit for the 4-3 defense. The Jets have done a LOT of work on their defensive front seven in the last couple years, and Richardson is likely to join former first round pick Muhammad Wilkerson as a defensive end in the Jets’ 3-man front. Kenrick Ellis will play nose tackle, and the plan is for Quinton Coples to make the switch to outside linebacker, which is also a bit surprising to me. The Jets are just trying to field the best possible group of big men that they can, and they have now got three first round picks, two third round picks, and a second round pick in their defensive front seven. That is a lot of investment in one area of the team. I think adding Richardson, the Jets are getting an explosive defensive line prospect who can rush the passer and create double team situations to free up pass rushers. I would have liked to have seen them supplement this pick by taking a speed rusher off the edge, but they obviously feel good enough about Coples and Antwan Barnes that it wasn’t necessary to do so in this year’s draft. This guy absolutely dominated the SEC in his team’s first season in that conference.

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