NEW YORK (AP) New York Jets tackle Sheldon Richardson, a graduate of Gateway High School in St. Louis and a member of the Missouri Tigers in 2011 and 2012, has won The Associated Press NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award.
Richardson, the 13th overall pick in April’s draft on a selection acquired when New York traded star cornerback Darrelle Revis to Tampa Bay, won a close race over Buffalo linebacker Kiko Alonso. Richardson received 23 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league. Alonso, a second-round choice (46th overall), got 19 in balloting announced Saturday night.
Often double-teamed as the season wore on, Richardson made 42 tackles and had 3.5 sacks. He clogged the running lanes so effectively that the Jets ranked third against the run this season.
He is the fourth Jet to win the award, joining Jonathan Vilma, Hugh Douglas and Erik McMillan.
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