Ted Thompson and the Green Bay Packers have signed a total of 27 rookies to contracts this offseason. Eight of those were his 2012 NFL Draft picks, while the other 19 were undrafted free agents picked up immediately after the draft or brought in as tryout players during Rookie Orientation Camp. With the roster now at a full 90 players, it’s time to get to know some of these new faces.
Next up is safety Sean Richardson.
Born on Jan. 21, 1990, Seandre Antonio Richardson hails from Linden, Alabama, where he was given a key to the city upon his signing with the Green Bay Packers. He is the first football player from Linden to earn a Division I scholarship. He is the son of Darnell and Sandra Richardson and brother to Darnell, Jr., and sister Shonedra.
Sean was a starter at safety for his last three seasons with the Vanderbilt Commodores, and he never missed a single game, despite undergoing hand surgery in 2009. He became an instant contributor on special teams during his freshman year, concluding with the Commodore’s only touchdown (a muffed punt recovery) against Boston College in the Music City Bowl.
Both Richardson and Packers second round draft pick Casey Hayward were the anchors of the Vanderbilt secondary. As a junior, Sean Richardson set single-season career highs in virtually every statistical category: 67 solo tackles, 98 total tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 3 QB hurries, and 7 passes defended. He played mostly “in the box,” working more in run support than pass coverage. His only career interception came as a senior.
Measuring 6-2, 216 lbs., Richardson ran a 4.47 second 40-yard dash, 7.01 second 3-cone drill, 4.44 second shuttle, and bench pressed 22 reps at the NFL Combine. Though undrafted, he gained interest from 14 teams wanting to sign him afterward. Some clubs were interested in having Richardson add about 15 pounds to play linebacker. The Packers, however, plan on keeping Richardson as a safety.
Most scouts use the word “physical” to describe Sean Richardson. He is more of a straight-line player, but does well shedding blocks and has a nose for the football. He maintains a low pad level and will “run through his target,” generating some “thump” on contact.
Richardson’s weaknesses include an inability to consistently work in space, showing some struggles in zone coverage and even more issues when playing man. According to the National Football Post scouting report, he “plays upright in coverage, isn’t real fluid when asked to re-direct and struggles to generate a burst clicking and closing on the throw.”
While working on his technique in the passing game, Sean Richardson could make an instant impact on Special Teams with his athleticism and tackling skills. As a projected backup player, that could be his quickest way onto the 53-man roster.——————Follow @ChadToporski