Jets: Richardson improves as a sophomore
Sheldon Richardson of the New York Jets made an immediate impact as a rookie, registering a +21.3 overall grade on his way to Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. As a rookie, Richardson primarily excelled as a run stuffer; his +22.4 grade in run defense was third-best among all defensive linemen in 2013. However he made less of a splash as a pass rusher (-1.1); his four sacks and 33 total pressures gave him a 5.4 Pass Rushing Productivity (PRP) grade, which ranked 29th out of 45 qualifying 3-4 defensive ends.
Ten games into his sophomore campaign it’s becoming clear that Richardson has been developing his pass rush skills, with a +8.8 pass rush grade to complement his +12.7 grade against the run. Richardson has registered four sacks and 27 total pressures, almost matching last year’s production in just 60% of the pass rush snaps. Richardson’s PRP score of 7.4 ranks ninth-best among starting 3-4 defensive ends.
It’s clear that the Jets have a star in Richardson, who has rapidly become a consistently disruptive presence in the heart of their defense.