Having just returned from Mobile and with the NFL Draft fresh on my mind, I noticed that CNNSI.com’s Don Banks went back and conducted a re-draft of last year’s first round. With the Chiefs' No. 1 overall selection, Banks grabbed Sheldon Richardson in place of Central Michigan T Eric Fisher.
"Fisher looked lost at right tackle early in the season and really didn't start playing with much consistency and command of his position until the final weeks of the schedule," wrote Banks. "But Richardson was a disruptive and productive force from Day 1 for the Jets, and he excelled at stuffing the run, while also proving he could regularly find his way into the backfield. Richardson, who got my vote for the league's Defensive Rookie of the Year, even turned into a useful Jumbo fullback late in the year and scored a pair of goal-line situation touchdowns."
Back in December, Jets head coach Rex Ryan also threw his support behind Richardson for Defensive ROY.
"He's got that relentless motor and for a defensive tackle and being as productive as he is, it doesn't show necessarily in the sack total," he said. He's got 3.5 or something," said the Jets HC. "He's had maybe 28 hits on the quarterback or something like that. And then the way he's played screen games, his tackles are probably amongst the leaders in the league for defensive linemen. So I think with that, and the tape doesn't lie."
The 6'2", 294-pound Richardson, who amassed 116 tackles and six sacks in two seasons at Missouri, finished second on the Jets with 11 tackles for loss and third in tackles (101) and QB hurries (32). The confident lineman told ESPNNewYork.com in December that he would go at the top of the draft if it was done all over.
"Probably No. 1, most likely," Richardson said of where he'd go in a redraft. "Kansas City? Yeah. I went into the draft thinking I'd be the No. 1 pick. I had a shot." Banks had his shot and with hindsight, he fired it at Richardson. With the Jets No. 9 and No. 13 selections, Banks went with CB Desmond Truant (Atlanta Falcons) and Purdue DT Kawaan Short (Carolina Panthers).