This year’s NFL draft is in the books, so what better time to start taking a look at some of the rookies that are set to make a big impact. Let’s start with running back Trent Richardson, drafted third overall by the Cleveland Browns.
Richardson is the real deal. Far and away the best running back in this years draft, the Browns traded up one spot to make sure they got their man.
So how much bang for their buck are the Browns getting with the Alabama rusher?
He is a big strong, powerful runner with the ability to put opposing defenders on their back. Many compare him to Vikings RB Adrian Peterson, seeing him as having the right balance of power, speed and explosiveness.
He has great vision and once he sees the hole in the defense, he powers through it, using his strength to bounce off tackles.
He is truly a three down back, and is equally adept at catching the football as well as running it.
Richardson may not be the quickest running back to ever play the game, but he has excellent straight line speed, and is very agile while making any cuts needed to bypass defenders. Bear in mind that players such as Emmitt Smith didn’t possess the greatest speed, and he ended up in the hall of fame.
In his final college season at Alabama, he averaged an impressive 5.9 yards per carry, finishing with 1,679 yards rushing and 21 touchdowns. He really did dominate the SEC, and finished third in the Heisman trophy voting.
What I like about Richardson is his ability to fight for the extra inches, as he often manages to bounce off the first tackle. NFL defenders are going to have their work cut out for them trying to take him down one on one.
I think the Browns made a great choice in selecting Trent Richardson. After Peyton Hillis was not re-signed, they were in clear need of a rushing threat. And they might have got their franchise player in Richardson. He is the type of running back that doesn’t come along very often, and bypassing him was not an option for Cleveland.
Just how good a season the Browns will have remains to be seen. It looks like they might be going with 28 year old rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden as their starter, after Colt McCoy hasn’t quite been the answer. They have a pretty tough schedule, and play in the very competitive AFC North with the likes of Cincinnati, Baltimore and Pittsburgh.
But the Browns are in better shape for having drafted a player like Richardson. If he lives up to his potential, he could put them in a position to win a lot of games.
Without a doubt, Cleveland’s rookie rusher is one to look out for.