New York Jets Draft Sheldon Richardson, Predictions For Rounds 2-3

With the 13th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the New York Jets selected Missouri Defensive Tackle Sheldon Richardson. While this move seemed to have many fans, analysts, and spectators confused considering the overall depth on the defensive line, along with the immense amount of holes throughout the roster, Jets General Manager John Idzik was adamant in his draft approach of selecting talent over specific position. According to Idzik, Richardson and CB Dee Milliner, selected by the Jets with the 9th overall pick, were two of the top players on New York’s board and, although Idzik entertained trade offers, he did not feel as though these offers surpassed the grades he had on either player.

While there was some initial shock value over the Richardson selection, it is relieving to see Idzik sticking to his approach of selecting the best player available. Foundations of teams are built through collecting quality talent, not over drafting for need. While opinions on Richardson may vary in comparison to fellow defensive tackle prospects, Sharrif Floyd and Star Lotulelei, the Jets had him rated higher on their boards because of both how they view him as a player and how they feel they can use him to better the team.

Sheldon 2So where does Richardson fit in? As an interior defensive lineman, he is surely a top prospect who has fantastic athleticism for the position with a great motor. We will get more into his overall game later this week, but Richardson has the type of versatility to be used anywhere along the interior of the Jets defensive line – as a 0,1, 3, or 5 technique – and will join Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples to form an extremely young and talented group of defensive lineman. There is no doubting the fact that the Jets added two very good players on Thursday.

What To Expect Tonight

The Jets hold one pick in each of the next two rounds – 39th and 72nd overall. Look for Idzik to stick to his approach of selecting the best available player at each spot. At 39, this could very much come in the form of an edge rusher with players like Sio Moore and Tank Carradine still available. It could also come in the form of a safety if John Cyprien were to fall there tonight.

While the defensive talent could be high when the Jets are on the clock at 39, there should also be a great amount of offensive talent, as well – talent that the Jets likely have rated higher than the defensive players aforementioned. Outside of Tyler Eifert being drafted to Cincinnati, every tight end could still be on the board, although I see Stanford’s Zach Ertz being selected by San Francisco a few spots ahead of the Jets. New York could consider Travis Kelce or Gavin Escobar, although it is doubtful that they have either of these players graded that highly.

There are still some excellent wide receiver prospects available in Keenan Allen, Quinton Patton, Robert Woods, and Justin Hunter, but this position could hold better value to the Jets in round 3 where they may have their choice of players like Steadman Bailey, Markus Wheaton, Da’rick Rodgers, or Ryan Swope.

Running back is still a need, but at 39 I am not sure any prospect will be on Idzik’s board as the best player available. This would seem more likely at 72 where New York could be looking at some combination of Gio Bernard, Jonathan Franklin, Le’Veon Bell, Andre Ellington, Christine Michael, and Mike Gillislee. Of course, a trade for New Orleans RB Chris Ivory is still in play at some point this weekend, as well.

Obviously, quarterback is still a position of need for this team but where does the value line up for them? If Geno Smith falls to 39 would he be the most talented player on New York’s board? The Jets reportedly attended his pro-day and came away impressed, so this would not be a shock. Ryan Nassib has also been linked to the Jets after meeting with Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and the offensive staff over dinner following his pro-day, so he could certainly be in play here too. Beyond these two, it is doubtful that the Jets select a quarterback at 39, but could revisit the position at 72 if they opt to pass on Smith and Barkley, if available. Names in the third for consideration could be Zac Dysert, Tyler Bray, Landry Jones, or Matt Scott.

Regardless, it should be another fun and entertaining night for all those in the land of the Jets.