Sheldon Richardson

New York Jets defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson is among the most underrated players in the National Football League. He also seems to feel a bit disrespected.

J.J. Watt, he’s got a few more sacks than me, but it’s the same type of disruption,” Richardson told ESPN earlier in the week. “He’s a little more active, I’ll give you that, but we have the same type of determination, same heart, same skills. He scores touchdowns, I score touchdowns.

That might sound a bit outrageous, but Richardson is on to something here. There is little doubt that Watt is the best defensive player in the NFL. Heck, he may be the best pure football player in the league.

There is, however, an argument that can be made that statistics are overrated. And for his part, Richardson grades out as one of the best all-around players in the NFL according to official Pro Football Focus metrics. 

In terms of statistics, he has put up 60 tackles, 6.5 sacks and a forced fumble through 14 games. He’s also one of the primary reason that the Jets rank fourth in the NFL against the run.

Richardson continued…

The same people you see mentioned every day, getting big contracts, I’m on the same level. I don’t put them over me, I don’t put them under me. Most definitely, it’s the same comparison, really.

Richardson may never be the splashy player that Watt is and he will never have the name recognition, but there is little doubt that he can be the Jets version of Watt.

Photo: NY Post