After extensive training at IMG Academy, Missouri DT Sheldon Richardson had a great outing at the NFL Combine. He earned a 90.2 rating, good for fourth out of all defensive linemen. At the NFL Combine, Richardson ran a solid 5.02 in the 40-yard dash, but wanted to show scouts at Missouri's pro day that he could run a sub-5.0 forty. NFL scouts were eager to see it, too. More than 20 NFL franchises were represented at Mizzou's pro day, the majority of whom arrived to see the AP first-team ALL-SEC player.
“The whole NFL wants Sheldon Richardson,” said Richardson to visiting media, not lacking any confidence in his own abilities.
Richardson proceeded to back up his claim, with scouts clocking him with unofficial times of 4.71 and 4.82 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
Afterwards, Richardson told reporters that he has a private workout with the Cleveland Browns next week, and has drawn heavy interest from the likes of the Dolphins, Raiders, Jaguars, Cowboys, Seahawks and the Chiefs.
In 2012, Richardson had a breakout year during Missouri's inaugural season as a member of the Southeastern Conference. Among all SEC defensive lineman, Richardson finished 2nd in tackles (75), which included 10.5 tackles for loss and four sacks. He is widely regarded as one of the top two defensive tackle prospects in this year's NFL Draft, largely in part due to his combination of size, strength and athleticism.
Prior to entering college, Richardson was one of thie most highly sought-after defensive tackle prosepcts in the nation, but he was also dominant on offense, serving as a standout tight end for St. Louis' Gateway Tech High School. His versatility has made him quite the playmaker, and there were times that Missouri used him as a standup rusher and sometimes he dropped back into zone coverage.
Richardson is projected to be a top-20 first round pick in the 2013 NFL draft, with many mock drafts slotting him as the potential 17th or 18th overall selection.
Additional photos of Sheldon Richardson training at IMG Academy: