Sheldon Richardson – Seventh year defensive tackle
Sheldon Richardson is coming off a pretty nice year for himself. The former first round pick and 2013 Defensive Rookie of the Year and posted his best numbers since 2015. Richardson came to Cleveland to make a difference and be wanted, and that’s exactly what happened for both him and the team.
In the 2019 campaign, Richardson played in all 16 games and recorded 62 tackles, 43 of which were solo, three sacks, three tackles for loss, six quarterback hits, and three forced fumbles. He played a total of 775 snaps during the year, contributing to 73 percent of the defensive snaps on the year.
One stat that stands out is his missed tackle rate of 16.2 percent, whereas the previous year it was only 7.5 percent. Despite getting a lot of tackles, that percentage needs to change in order for him and the D-line group to continue success later in the season.
Throughout his career, Richardson has accumulated 26.5 sacks, 53 tackles for loss and 397 total tackles. Despite not living up to what his Pro Bowl year was, Richardson has been one of the better defensive tackles in the NFL.
Richardson quietly had a good season and his stats are nearly on par with his Pro Bowl year. Later in the year without Garrett though, it seemed like he got more attention from the offensive line and became less effective. His frustration showed after the suspension but honestly, who wasn’t frustrated on that team at that point during the year?
Overall, Richardson is one of the vital pieces of the D-Line and could be a good mentor for both Phillips and Billings. He’s under contract until 2021 and it looks like he’s still got a lot in his tank.