KANSAS CITY, Mo. The biggest wildcard in this year's NFL draft might just be Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson.
NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock described Richardson, who is 6 feet 4 and 295 pounds, as a rising prospect who seems certain to go in the first round, perhaps even in the top 15.
"I really like that kid," Mayock said in a Monday teleconference call. "He is so gifted athletically. I see him as a three-technique guy but really, I would think any of the 32 teams in the NFL could find a place for him on their line. He's that good."
Mayock isn't alone is his assessment of Richardson. Scouts have raved about Richardson's quickness into the backfield, especially when lined up directly over an offensive lineman.
Richardson's agility and length make him an intriguing prospect.
"He's got that athleticism," Mayock said. "He's really exciting. I think he's as athletically gifted as any defensive lineman in the draft. I think he's more athletic than the Utah kid ...