Sheldon Richardson grew up in St. Louis, where he was a multi-sport athlete at his high school. He played college football at College of the Sequoias before transferring to his dream school, University of Missouri. At Missouri, Richardson built a name for himself and was a consensus first-round draft pick. The New York Jets selected him with the 13th overall pick.
Richardson was once compared to former star defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins. While Jets fans are disappointed that Richardson did not become a superstar in New York, he has posted better numbers than Jenkins ever did. Just in 2014, Richardson posted 8.0 sacks. He has compiled 240 total tackles in his four seasons in the NFL. Seattle had a vacancy after Malik McDowell’s long-term injury, and felt strong enough about Richardson to offer a 2nd-round pick, 7th-round pick, and wide receiver Jermaine Kearse.
When compared to former longtime Seahawks nose tackle Brandon Mebane, Richardson’s stats are more impressive. Mebane, a dependable run-stuffer in Seattle’s system, rarely hit the quarterback. Richardson has hit the quarterback 53 times in four years. When comparing the two, Richardson has demonstrated better ability to stop the run and disrupt the passing game regularly. Even with a down year in 2016, Richardson should be able to step into Seattle’s defensive line and make immediate impacts.
Trading Kearse was on Seattle’s to-do list for a bit. Seattle’s receiving corps is strong enough to overcome his departure and may even improve. The trade shakes up Seattle’s draft picks for 2018 yet again, leaving them with nine draft selections: a first rounder, a third rounder, a fourth rounder, two fifth rounders, and four seventh rounders.
Based on their history, Seattle will likely acquire more picks before the 2018 draft.