RB, Alabama, 5’11” 224
Report: Richardson is by far the best running back in this draft class. In fact, the only running back rated this high in the recent future has been Adrian Peterson. You already know just about everything there is to know about him. He is a beast.
How the Browns could get him: Obviously this depends 99% on whether or not we resign Peyton Hillis. If we do not resign Hillis, and we are not 100% sure on RG3, then Richardson could easily fill a needed hole. If we do resign Hillis, then this discussion is pointless.What he could do for the Browns: The AFC North is built on defenses and running games. In 2010 when the Browns had somewhat of a running game, you could immediately see a difference. Of course our defense was terrible and we only won 5 games. This past year, our defense improved dramatically, yet our offense struggled at everything. Trent would fit in perfectly to a West Coast offense. He has every tool you look in for in a running back. Big, fast, great vision, decent blocker, and decent hands. Everyone saw the impact AP had in Minnesota as soon as he stepped on the field. Trent could be our future back for years to come.
Concerns: Running backs are rarely ever ranked this high. That could mean he is a guaranteed success. On the other hand it puts a lot of pressure on the Browns for drafting him. He is expected to be the next Peterson. However, the reason RB’s are rarely ranked that high is because it’s so difficult to rate them according to the workload faced in the NFL.
That brings me to my next concern. Workload. Before you call me crazy, hear me out. While everyone is touting Richardson because he can “carry” a team or “put the running game on his back”, nobody is concerned that he may break. Here are some reasons why. The mere fact that Trent has already showed he can be a workhorse worries me. During his career at Bama, Richardson compiled over 600 touches. That’s more than double of what any of the other potential running backs have. The fact that the majority of this was against SEC defenses only makes it worse. What if he already hit his peak? How much more can his body take? We all know the life of a RB is short lived; is his farther along than others?
Finally, this draft is extremely deep at running back. Obviously tier one is Richardson. But after him there are a slew of running backs that will be on the board in the late 1st, 2nd, and even 3rd rounds. Some names to keep in mind; Lamar Miller, Chris Polk, David Wilson, Doug Martin, Bernard Pierce, LeMichael James, Isaiah Pead, and Curtis Gray. All of these players could be drafted between rounds 1-4. Why risk it at 4 overall when there are plenty of other options?