Richardson: Wilkerson is better than Watt, I'm better than both

Wilkerson (left) and Richardson (right) are two of the NFL's best young players. (USATSI)
Sheldon Richardson may be a rookie but that hasn't kept him from speaking his mind. In October, he said he thought the NFL babied Tom Brady, asking, "Why do we make rules after he gets hurt?"

And Saturday, Richardson offered his frank assessment of teammate Muhammad Wilkerson as one of the NFL's most dominant defenders.

There's more: Mo may be better than J.J. Watt, in Richardson's mind, but Richardson's better than all of them.

“I don’t feel like Mo’s the best defensive player in the league ... I am,” Richardson told the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta. “I’m dead-ass serious.”

Richardson added, "It's a blessing and a curse."

One scout told Mehta that Richardson is "a beast," and that “there’s no question that if he improves his work habits, he’ll be a special player.”

According to ProFootballFocus.com, Watt is the NFL's top-rated 3-4 defensive and -- against both the run and the pass -- and it's not even close. Wilkerson ranks fifth and Richardson is eighth.

However the stats shake out, this much is certain: Wilkerson, the Jets' 2011 first-round pick, is getting paid this offseason.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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