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When the Jets drafted Sheldon Richardson at with the 13th overall pick, the pick didn't exactly fit a huge need.  Even so, it sounds as if the Jets are enamored with Richardson's abilities and look forward to finding a number of ways which he can help out the defense.

Connor Orr wrote about Richardson's flexibility to fit into a defense and his rather amusing high school nickname.

They thought about how they came up with his on-field nickname: "Boss Hog."

"He was 275 pounds in high school and he returned punts," said Kelvin Williams, one of Richardson’s teammates. "What else were you gonna call him? He’s the boss."

Plenty has changed since then, but as the Jets coaching staff gushed about their new defensive tackle over the weekend, it sounded like they appreciated the same things about Richardson. They claim he is versatile and freakishly athletic. They remembered the time on film Richardson, then a defensive tackle at Missouri, spied the opposing team’s fastest player. They remember seeing him line up at five different spots on defense. They remember him picking up a fumble against Kentucky and returning it nearly the length of the field, legging out running backs and wide receivers nearly to the end zone.

"I really think any of the film you watch on him — first impressions, last impressions — it’s impressive," Kevin Kelly, the Jets area scout who followed Richardson, said yesterday. "You can feel his energy and his passion. He doesn’t turn it off."

The Jets envision a "Boss Hog" role for Richardson that can have him play anywhere along the defensive line. They could shift their personnel and throw him into a 4-3 scheme or swap him into a role similar of departed Mike DeVito.

Returning punts at 275 pounds?  That is pure awesomeness.  When I asked about Richardson, Eric Galko of Optimum Scouting told me inside Radio City that he was an "athletic freak" and this story about his high school days certainly lines up with that.   The Richardson scouting report notes that he would chase down wide receivers 20-30 yards downfield in college ... so he's going to be fun to watch with the Jets.

Of course there are questions as to what exactly his role will be with Wilkerson, Ellis and Coples already in house ... more as we know that.  Our only hope is that he doesn't come to a similar end as the real Boss Hog when he jumps on an exercise bike for the first time at the team facility ...

Tags: NYJets , Brian Bassett
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