Sheldon Richardson is November’s top defensive rookie

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The Jets’ season has taken a turn for the worse over the last couple of weeks, but that can’t put much of a damper on the excellent rookie season that defensive end Sheldon Richardson has turned in.

Richardson has been the better of the team’s two first-round picks and he’s been one of the best rookies in the league this season regardless of position. That’s why he was named the NFL’s defensive rookie of the month on Wednesday.

Richardson had 22 tackles, four of them for losses, and a half-sack in three games for the Jets this season. His productivity up front has helped the Jets be one of the stingiest teams in the league against the run and that defensive effort is the main reason why the Jets have gone 5-6 and stuck around the Wild Card race despite a staggeringly ineffective offense.

Things should continue to go well on the defensive line for the Jets. Richardson has teamed with 2011 first-rounder Muhammad Wilkerson, 2012 first-rounder Quinton Coples and nose tackle Damon Harrison to form a young and talented unit that should continue to thrive well after the 2013 season comes to an end.