Most of the experts assumed that Jordan Richards would be a very late round pick. Coach Bill Belichick did not seem to think so when he selected Richards in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
From Jack Blanchat:
"Nobody ever called Bill Belichick conventional - and he proved it again on Friday, selecting Stanford safety Jordan Richards with the 64th overall pick in the NFL Draft.
Richards, a team captain for the Cardinal last season, was projected as a late round pick, but the strong safety from Folsom, California impressed the Pats enough for them to grab him early in the draft."
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2J_XKCXXhNE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
An article from Alen Dumonjić sheds light on the extent of Jordan Richards's brilliance:
"Duane Akina had come to Stanford late. Two weeks through spring practices the Cardinal hired him as defensive backs coach and asked him to learn their vital defensive terminology. He had known all of the concepts after coaching legendary college defensive backs at Arizona and Texas, but the terminology differed. Terminology wove the defense together like laces do cleats, so he turned to the group of seniors on the Cardinal for help, including a safety.
"Jordan was teaching me the system when I got here," Akina said, reflecting back on Jordan Richards who was selected No. 64 overall in the 2015 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots."
You read that correctly, at one point Jordan Richards was coaching his coach.
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/POcgCSzoRZs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
More from the Alen Dumonjić article:
"Richards had made all of the defensive calls and checks in Stanford's defense in his senior season. He made sure the defensive linemen heard whether they were in a three- or four-man front, whether the linebackers had to pattern match or spot drop, whether the coverage was single high or split-field safeties. He controlled calls against up-tempo offenses, according to Akina, and had played each of the six defensive back positions, including both safety spots and emergency cornerback."
Richards was apparently smartest defensive player on a team filled with the smartest players in the country. It really should not shock anyone why a player like Richards would attract the attention of a coach like Bill Belichick
To put it simply:
""He's a coach on the field," Akina said."
Go check out the full article from Alen Dumonjić you will be glad you did.