(Editor's Note: Heading into the upcoming NFL Draft, held April 25-27, DallasCowboys.com will take a closer look at the prospects, including some that could be potential fits with the Cowboys. Today's featured player is Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson).
Name: Sheldon RichardsonPosition: Defensive TackleCollege: MissouriHeight/Weight: 6-2/294Age: 24 (born Jan. 1, 1989)
Honors:Richardson was named first-team All-SEC – the only Missouri player to earn that distinction in the Tigers' first SEC season – after he compiled 75 tackles and five sacks.
Key Stat:Despite the fact that he's one of this draft's high-profile defensive tackles, Richardson hasn't had much of a chance to reach his full potential. He was one of the most-anticipated recruits to sign with the Tigers, but he only started 14 games during his career. The fact that he's considered a consensus first rounder after such a small sampling of experience indicates quite a high ceiling.
Where He's Headed:The trio of Richardson, Florida's Sharrif Floyd and Utah's Star Lotulelei have all been considered first round defensive tackles since this year's draft hype began. Richardson backed that up with a strong combine, and he figures to be selected in the top 25. [embedded_ad]
How He Helps the Cowboys:Much is made about the need to revamp the offensive line, and for good reason. But the Cowboys need to stock their defensive interior, as well, and it's feasible that Richardson could still be available at No. 18. His speed could make for a fearsome pass rush, and his outspoken nature lends itself to that Cowboys' swagger.
Scout's Take:Will be the third best defense tackle on many boards, but has a real chance of being gone by the 15th pick. … Really like how he stays active in the play. … Good inside hand use. … Shows some initial quickness. … Did a really nice job of getting outside on the screen and causing a fumble against South Carolina. … Will use a spin move to free himself on the pass rush. … Can change direction and redirect. … Tackled well in space. … Played the low block well. … Will fight up the field and is a good player on the move. … Tough player to handle when he gets in the gap and charges up the field. … Can beat the block back with quickness. … Does a nice job of working down the line of scrimmage and getting in on the play. … The game that he had the most trouble in was against Texas A&M. He played way too soft and he didn't get off blocks like he did against Alabama, South Carolina and Kentucky. … Would be a great addition as a three technique in this scheme because of how he gets up field and attacks the blocker. – Bryan Broaddus