Jordan Richards Looks Like a Rock-Solid Pick for the New England Patriots


It wouldn’t be the NFL Draft if Bill Belichick didn’t take a relatively unknown player in the early rounds. This year, it was Stanford strong safety Jordan Richards. While the selection of Richards in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft was a surprise at first, it appears that the New England Patriots have struck gold.

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First off, the Patriots’ strong safety depth chart needed some work this offseason. While Pat Chung saved his career with a stellar 2014 campaign, you can’t count on him performing as well without Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner at cornerback. Tavon Wilson and Duron Harmon are better suited as free safety, and it’s not like the Pats are about to insert special teamer Nate Ebner into the lineup.

In Richards, the Patriots are receiving not just a pro ready prospect, but also a Patriots-ready one. As the Boston Herald’s Adam Kurkjian points out, Richards has exemplified the Patriot Way throughout his football upbringing.

Known as a coach on the field because of his high football IQ and leadership ability, Richards is the prototypical Belichick defender. In addition, he knows how to take the high road when it comes to speaking with the media, a Patriot trait if there ever was one.

Versatility is one of Richards’ strong suits, as he’s played corner, safety, and some linebacker. Certainly, that appealed to the Patriots and will serve the rookie well as he tries to establish a role on the team.

Richards has carried himself as a Patriot throughout his football upbringing.

Despite his short stature at 5-foot-11, Richards doles out big hits. Without Browner, the Patriots will need an enforcing physical presence in the secondary, and Richards ought to fill that void.

You might be thinking, even if Richards is a good fit, why did the Patriots take him so early when he would have been available later? Well, if the Patriots really like a guy, they will go to great lengths to get him. Try to look at the selection of Richards at No. 64 as less of a reach, and more of an indication that the rookie could really help the Patriots out in 2015 and beyond.

If you want to see Richards’ highlights at Stanford, check this out. Also, see how Richards reacted after getting drafted by the Pats. Lastly, find out Richards’ chances of making the Patriots’ final roster.