New York Jets Make Big Mistake Taking Sheldon Richardson

Sam QuinnContributor IIIApril 26, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 25:  Sheldon Richardson of the Missouri Tigers stands with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (L) as they hold up a jersey on stage after Richardson was picked #13 overall by the New York Jets in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 25, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
Chris Chambers/Getty Images

Sheldon Richardson? I mean really, I know they're the New York Jets, but seriously, Sheldon Richardson?

Somebody explain to me why this makes sense. On a team with needs literally everywhere, why take someone on the defensive line when you've spent first-rounders there in the last two drafts? 

If you're a 3-4 team, why take a defensive tackle who's too small to play the nose?

If you want to be a good team, why would you make bad picks?

Who was sitting on the board? Let's see. There was Jarvis Jones, the stud outside linebacker who would have filled a huge pass-rushing hole on the defense. 

Or maybe you prefer Kenny Vaccaro, the elite safety prospect out of Texas. Considering the Jets don't have a starting-quality safety on their roster, I'd say that'd be a smart pick.

Heck, what about a quarterback? At least Geno Smith could challenge Mark Sanchez and give the fans some hope.

But OK, let's say you're set on taking a defensive tackle. Why, of all people, do you settle on Richardson? 

How about Star Lotulelei? You know, the mammoth out of Utah who could easily slide into the nose tackle spot for the Jets. If you're set on switching to a 4-3 (which this move seems to signal), why not Sharrif Floyd?

It's really hard to mess up when you have two first-round picks. The two other teams with multiple selections (Minnesota and St. Louis) both maneuvered around the board beautifully to end up with multiple impact players.

But the Jets messed up big time here. There's no good explanation for why they selected Sheldon Richardson.

There were simply too many other needs to go for a third-straight defensive linemen. The Jets have needs all over the field

Maybe it was too early for a wide receiver like Cordarrelle Patterson or DeAndre Hopkins, and maybe Radio City would have gone nuts if Tyler Eifert was the pick, but Richardson just doesn't make sense. 

At only 294 pounds, Richardson is too small to play on the nose. However, the team is set at defensive end with Quinton Coples and Muhammed Wilkerson. In their current scheme, there isn't a spot for Richardson.

Rex Ryan has never run a 4-3 scheme. I doubt he intends on switching to one full time now, with his job on the line. 

Even if he is, Richardson's numbers aren't eye-popping. He shot up draft boards late in the process, and his six career sacks aren't something to write home about. Richardson isn't the kind of prospect that warrants a complete disregard for need. 

Enjoy another 6-10 season, Rex, because that's exactly where picks like this tend to lead.