The Browns have taken Alabama running back Trent Richardson with the third overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. The move to get Richardson was made after the Browns traded with the Vikings earlier in the evening for the rights to the third overall pick.
Here’s a scouting report on the back the Browns hope will lead them into the future:
Summary: Richardson was one of the most dominant and consistent players in college football last year. He carried Alabama’s offense in their championship run. Richardson owned the SEC as he produced against every defense he faced. He averaged 5.9 yards per carry with 1,679 yards rushing with 21 touchdowns. He also thrived as a receiver, catching 29 passes for 338 yards and three touchdowns. Richardson ran for 96 yards on 20 carries with a touchdown in the national championship versus LSU’s NFL-caliber defense.
As a freshman and sophomore, Richardson was the backup to Mark Ingram. There will be a lot of NFL teams that like the fact that Richardson was a reserve over his first two years. That saved him from a lot of wear-and-tear that other college running backs have entering the league after totaling a large amount of carries as the leading weapon of their college teams. With Richardson’s one year as the starter, NFL evaluators have enough tape to make a good evaluation of him.
Richardson looks like a three-down back in the NFL. He is a good receiver out of the backfield with the skill set to develop into a quality blitz protector. Richardson has an elite combination of strength and speed. He gets yards after contact from his strength, and is fast enough to break off long touchdowns on a carry or reception. He has the rare combination to ram through linebackers and run away from defensive backs.
Richardson could fit any NFL offense, but would be a perfect fit in a West Coast scheme because of his receiving ability. As a runner, Richardson could play in a power man blocking scheme or a zone-blocking system. Some believe that Richardson is the best running back prospect to enter the NFL since Adrian Peterson in 2007.