Jets defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson had a strong rookie season, one that saw him earn PFT’s Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.
Off the field, Richardson drew some attention late in the season by suggesting he would merit consideration as the No. 1 pick if the draft were held again.
However, Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp isn’t yet convinced Richardson is an elite player.
“Let’s not anoint this kid the next best thing since sliced bread yet,” Sapp told Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News for a story published on Wednesday.
Yes, that’s right — we’re back with more defensive-line takes from Warren Sapp.
According to the Daily News, Sapp took issue with Richardson’s belief that he should have been drafted higher.
“As soon as that kid gets off the ‘I think I was better and should have been drafted in a different position,’ maybe he’ll see his future,” Sapp told the paper.
Sapp also told the Daily News that he wasn’t impressed with Richardson’s pass-rush ability. Sapp, according to the Daily News, also believes that Richardson compares more to Albert Haynesworth than himself.
“The sack numbers do not always tell the true story. I agree with that. But he’s not that highly skilled of a pass rusher,” Sapp told the Daily News of Richardson, who had 3.5 sacks as a rookie.
Sapp, for the record, had three sacks in his first NFL season in 1995, then notched nine in his second NFL campaign.
As an accomplished former player, Sapp’s opinion on the game has some credibility, and he’s willing to be critical. He’ll dish it out. Of course, he has to be ready to take some of his medicine, too.