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Richardson awaits NFL draft after two seasons at Missouri

COLUMBIA — Former Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson has lost none of the outsized confidence that marked his brief tenure with the Tigers.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reported Friday that Richardson is prepared for the upcoming NFL draft — even to be selected as the No. 1 overall pick, a slot held by the Kansas City Chiefs.

“Hell, yeah,” he said. “You’ve seen me play.”

Richardson, a junior-college transfer from St. Louis, told the newspaper he spent his two seasons at Mizzou “getting my mind right.”

Richardson, receiver T.J. Moe and 10 other former Missouri players worked out for pro scouts Thursday at the school’s indoor practice facility.

Always ready with a colorful quote in the locker room, win or lose, Richardson didn’t disappoint. When asked if he would fit in better with teams that run a 4-3 defense or a 3-4 defense, he said it didn’t matter.

“The whole NFL wants Sheldon Richardson,” he said. “All 32. It’s whatever they need on that day.”

He wouldn’t name the two other top defensive tackles in the draft — Florida’s Shariff Floyd and Utah’s Star Lotolelei — but put himself squarely in their company.

“It’s splitting hairs with the guys they got ranked above me,” he said. “I play more plays than they do, a little more consistent than they do. My film speaks volumes. I put my film up against anybody in this draft.”

Richardson ran the 40-yard dash Thursday in 4.71 seconds, a marked improvement from the recent NFL scouting combine. He participated in two more agility tests before going through a series of position drills under St. Louis Rams defensive line coach Clyde Simmons.

Richardson has a private workout next week scheduled with the Cleveland Browns, who have the No. 6 pick in the draft. He said he’s talked the most with Kansas City, Jacksonville (No. 2), Oakland (No. 3), Miami (No. 12), Dallas (No. 18) and Seattle (No. 25).

Richardson said he “kept it honest” when teams asked about his one-game suspension for the Nov. 17 home finale against Syracuse, a 31-27 loss that kept Missouri from becoming bowl-eligible. He didn’t explain the suspension to reporters, though.

“There’s no reason to lie,” Richardson said. “They’re either going to draft me or not.”

Twenty-five representatives from 17 NFL teams attended the first of Missouri’s two pro days. In addition to Richardson and Moe, the group who worked out consisted of linebacker Zaviar Gooden, defensive end Brad Madison, cornerback Kip Edwards, safety Kenronte Walker, offensive tackle Elvis Fisher, running backs Kendial Lawrence and Jared McGriff-Culver, receivers Rolandis Woodland and Gahn McGaffie and punter Trey Hobson.

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