Sheldon Richardson is ready to play old man football.
At least, he thinks so, as he has declared for the 2013 NFL Draft, forfeiting his final season of college eligibility. After a junior season in which Richardson finally put it all together, getting named first team All SEC in the process, the time is right for him to cash in.
But how high can Richardson go in April's draft? We answer that and other questions in the first edition of Monday mailbag.
Note: If you want to have a question answered in the Monday mailbag, you can email me, contact me on Twitter @MatthewFairburn, or comment in the article below. I'll answer every question you guys send me and include the best ones in this column every week leading up to the draft.
From @TimothyMBarnes: Give me a high and low of where Sheldon Richardson can go.
Sheldon Richardson had a dominant season for Missouri. Despite running his mouth early in the season, Richardson let his play do most of the talking, and the SEC heard him loud and clear. He's a consistently disruptive force on the inside, with excellent athleticism and a vastly improved motor. Discipline and conditioning were my two issues with him entering the season, and he improved on both. His ceiling in the top ten, and I have a hard time seeing him fall out of the early 20's in April.
From @tha_funk: How many offensive lineman go in the top ten? Joeckel only?
Right now, I have two offensive lineman with top ten grades, and both of them play for the Aggies. Luke Joeckel and his teammate Jake Matthews are both deserving of coming off the board in the top ten, in my opinion, and the two are closer as prospects than people think. Matthews and Joeckel are both juniors, though, so we'll have to see if they declare. Another junior, Michigan's Taylor Lewan, has generated some buzz, but his inconsistency this season makes me hesitant on grading him as a top ten player.
From @DavidRobyn2: What kind of potential does Zac Dysert have? And what round do you expect him to go in?
Zac Dysert absolutely has starter potential in the NFL. He has a strong arm, hangs tough in the pocket and has plenty of experience under center. Dysert's senior season was a challenge. He suffered from tons of dropped passes and faced heavy pressure consistently. As the season wore on, he seemed to lose some confidence as a result. The Senior Bowl will be a good tool for evaluating Dysert, so we can gauge how he performs with more talent around him. With a solid showing in the pre-draft process, Dysert could come off the board in the second round. He seems like a day two lock at this point.
From @daveridgewood: Tavon Austin, how early does he go?
In my mock update a few weeks back, Tavon Austin didn't crack the first round. In my next update, he stands a strong chance of finding a spot in the first 32 picks. I think he is the best senior wide receiver in this draft class and will present a huge matchup problem for NFL defenses. He has so much skill coming out of the slot with his soft hands, vision and elusiveness. His upside is Percy Harvin, and nobody should be surprised if he is a first round pick in April.