October 15, 2011; Columbia, MO, USA; Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Jared Barnett (16) hands off the ball to Iowa State Cyclones running back Jeff Woody (32) as Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson (34) looks to make a tackle during the first quarter at Faurot Field. The Missouri Tigers defeated the Iowa State Cyclones 52-17. Mandatory Credit: Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Draft 2013: Sheldon Richardson a Force Inside

We can all speculate on who we think the Dallas Cowboys should take with their No. 18 pick in Thursday’s NFL Draft, but what will actually happen, no one knows.

The Cowboys obviously have glaring needs on both the offensive and defensive lines as well as at safety.

Unfortunately, all the top-talent players will be taken off the board. So the Cowboys can only fill one or two of those needs in the first two rounds.

In that case, Dallas should pay close attention to Sheldon Richardson, a defensive tackle from Missouri.

Richardson is a big, physical interior lineman who possesses a lot of strength and proper footwork. The 6’2″ Richardson is athletic enough to not only pass rush from the inside, but has the ability to stand under short coverage in the middle of the field on some passing downs. He would give defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin some versatility with schemes.

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Scouts say Richardson has very average upper-body strength for an interior lineman, but with a good pro strength and conditioning program, he could add the strength necessary to overwhelm offensive lineman.

Richardson finished off his 2012 campaign for the Tigers with 75 tackles and 4 sacks. Fourteen of those tackles came against run-happy Alabama.

Dallas can use a good run-stopping defensive tackle and pair well with Jay Ratliff if he can stay healthy.

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