Kyle Brady was the first name that came to mind when the Jets drafted Sheldon Richardson, which I guess makes Quinton Coples the Johnny Mitchell in this confusing comparison. Does Richardson play with Coples or replace him? That’s the question, right? Now, Richardson is light years beyond what Brady was as a draft prospect. He’s generally regarded as one of the 10 best players in this draft and can play all three downs thanks to his size, quickness and athleticism. I wonder if John Idzik, who was part of a Seahawks front office that passed on Coples last year for Bruce Irvin, is similarly discolored with the idea of building a defense around QC. That remains to be seen. Perhaps Richardson comes in and plays alongside Coples and Muhammad Wilkerson. Maybe Rex Ryan, Karl Dunbar and Dennis Thurman have a plan for how to turn these three behemoths into an unstoppable force that makes up for the lack of an edge rusher. Anything is possible, to quote Kevin Garnett. But I just worry that Idzik side-tracked the development of one of the more promising players on the roster just one year into his career.
This can be put in the category that no one saw coming. I don't think in any mock draft I saw, anyone had Richardson going to the Jets. I think the Jets will be using the 3-4 and 4-3. That is where Richardson fits in. He will provide a solid inside rush for the Jets. Coples, Wilk, and Richardson sound like a very solid front. Could they have gone with Jarvis Jones or Tyler Eifert? Maybe, but regarding the tight end position they can easily grab one in rounds 2 or 3 that can be just as good as Eifert. There really wasn't anyone else to draft at 13. In the end, I like both picks even though they were both DEFENSE. I think they will go offense from here on.
Going against the grain somewhat, I'd become convinced that the Jets saw interior lineman as a bigger need than edge rusher based on a notion that Quinton Coples will be employed as an edge rusher more this season. That was a trend that developed towards the end of last year and would therefore alleviate the need for another outside linebacker, but does create a need for depth on the interior. That's especially true if Coples was not going to operate as a direct replacement for Mike DeVito as had been widely assumed.
This is a move that would appear to give the Jets some additional flexibility and depth. I'd been hearing that - depending on how the board fell - Richardson was a potential target for the 49ers at #13, so the fact the Jets took him there instead suggests the value was about right. Again, it's obviously a guy the team felt comfortable with, so I'm eager to see him on the field.
Strong to stronger. This one caught me as a total shock. I literally was asking people in Radio City for help as I just had done such little research on first round tackles ... Wheerps! Richardson is a player who comes into a group of DT/DE on this Jets line that can add some depth to the group and also push for playing time. Will the Jets play more four man fronts with a guy like Richardson? You'd think so. Will he play three downs in year one? Maybe not, but the idea of having a high motor one-gapper who can play all over the line coming off the bench on passing downs -- at a minimum in 2013 -- is a frightening notion. Defensive lines routinely shuttle players in and out and having a rip-roaring player like Richardson is going to suit them well. Do I still think the Jets should consider an edge rusher? Absolutely, but at the same time grabbing a player like Richardson was a value pick for a team like the Jets. I think there's a sense of disappointment that the Jets have yet to upgrade their offense, but I see that coming today for the Jets. This is where the value in the draft is on the offensive side of the ball outside a handful of skill guys who went in the first and the large group of the best linemen.