September 22, 2012; Columbia, SC, USA; Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson (34) before the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

The Sheldon Richardson File

Sheldon Richardson is the player I think that is most likely to be selected by the Dallas Cowboys, if they keep their first round pick.  As many fans know, when Jerry Jones has salary cap issues he dumps the first round pick and trades it so he won’t have to pay the “first round salary”.

October 27, 2012; Columbia, MO, USA; Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson (34) and running back Jared McGriff-Culver (38) prepare to enter the field with their teammates before kickoff at Faurot Field. The Missouri Tigers defeated the Kentucky Wildcats 33-10. Mandatory Credit: Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

Richardson is a 6 ft 4 in defensive tackle from Missouri playing 2 football seasons.  In 2011, he played mainly in a reserve roll until he took over the starting spot in 2012.  Many anticipate him to have a great combine and run some seriously quick 40’s despite weighing 300 lbs.

Upside of this young man is that he has good speed, has the size to be a force in the NFL, an instinctive player with explosive tackles, athletic enough to be in pass coverage, and loves to play in big games.

The downside is he had 1 season as a starter, sometimes stands up and cannot maintain leverage against blockers, struggled academically, tends to run his mouth during interviews, and had a suspension during the 2012 season for unspecified reasons for breaking team rules.

The good outweighs the bad in this case, he can be controlled and shown how to interview properly, some solid coaching up on his standing up issues, and honestly tell me what athlete didn’t really struggle in college?  There are many top NFL players that had a hard time academically so it is really not an issue.

He will be a good fit for the Cowboys especially since he has been rated as a great fit for the 4-3 scheme.  With his ability to drop into pass coverage, he will be a dual threat defensive tackle that the Cowboys are in need of since Jay Ratliff was arrested.

Richardson has been cited with having quick hands and really good footwork which will aid in his development from being a college defensive tackle to a pro defensive tackle.  He also has been reported as having top notch vision and awareness.  He has been able to diagnose a play and get to the ball fairly quick.  After playing with some of the best talent in the SEC, Richardson has the leg up on the rest of the defensive tackles just because he was able to face off against the best talent around the country.

I could very well see Richardson getting playing time pretty fast in the NFL and particularly with the Cowboys.  He has the skillset we need in a defensive tackle, he would be a good fit for the scheme we are running, and some of his negatives are easily manageable.  Dallas would do all the good in getting this young man in blue and silver.  Despite his comments during the college football season on how he hates Texas, he might want to change his tune because he has the possibility of getting his paychecks from the state that loves their football and their Dallas Cowboys.

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