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Even at a devalued position, Richardson’s talent too great to pass up

Alabama's Richardson battles against Auburn's defensive in their NCAA college footballl game in Auburn Reuters

The NFL’s transformation into a passing league has hit running backs hard, both on draft day (the first running off the board went 28th in last year’s first round) and in free agency (veteran running backs haven’t found much of a market for their services this year). But with the NFL draft a month away, Alabama running back Trent Richardson has so much talent that he appears poised to buck the trend of running backs being devalued.

A couple of weeks ago we passed along comments from NFL Network’s Mike Mayock suggesting that Richardson might slip out of the Top 10 because of the low value so many teams place on running backs. But with more time to study the tape, Mayock now says Richardson is simply too talented for more than five or six teams to pass on him

“Boy was I wrong,” Mayock said of suggesting Richardson might get out of the Top 10. “He’s going in the Top 10. Let’s face it, if the two quarterbacks [Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III] go 1-2, and the Vikings are not in the market for a tailback at No. 3 because of Adrian Peterson, this kid is going 4, 5 or 6. He’s the best tailback I’ve seen come out since the aforementioned Adrian Peterson. He brings toughness, he brings speed, he brings pass protection.”

Mayock said that if the Browns pass on Richardson at No. 4, he can’t see why the Bucs would pass on him at No. 5. Mayock said Richardson running behind the Buccaneers’ offensive line in Greg Schiano’s offense could have a big impact as a rookie.

“Trent Richardson might be the best position player in this draft,” Mayock said. “I watched 150 of his carries today. I watched every catch he made on tape today. . . . I watched every pass protection I could find in about a 10-game span, and he might be the best pass-protecting running back in this draft also. So when you talk about toughness and perhaps the best positional player in the entire draft, I think if he is available at No. 5, with that offensive line, they’ve got to pull the trigger.”

And if the Bucs do pull the trigger, they may find themselves with the most talented player in the draft.

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90 Responses to “Even at a devalued position, Richardson’s talent too great to pass up”
  1. thraiderskin says: Mar 27, 2012 12:18 PM

    I’m very interested to see where this guy goes… He sure does have a ton of talent, but the position has been so devalued in recent years, with Mcfadden, Peterson and Spiller (?) being the exceptions as Top 10 picks.

  2. xxsweepthelegxx says: Mar 27, 2012 12:20 PM

    I can see it now….
    “Hey guys…Im Trent Richardson….your new RB.”

    LaGarrette Blount stands up…walks calmly over to Trent…and proceeds to punch him in the face.

  3. coonsqualler says: Mar 27, 2012 12:20 PM

    He sure would look good in my Brownies uniform. Boy, could he help out McCoy along with the best wideout at #22.

    Just Sayin’…Go Brownies!!

  4. djteknision1200 says: Mar 27, 2012 12:21 PM

    I would never pick a RB in the 1st round now. The value is no longer there for them. Most teams find more than adequate RB in the later rounds. The NFL is a passing league at the moment.

  5. cubancigar10 says: Mar 27, 2012 12:21 PM

    Would love to see him drop down to the Dolphins as trade-down bait. Got fingers crossed.

  6. mistersmith22 says: Mar 27, 2012 12:23 PM

    I still don’t understand this “devalued” stuff. It’s not like the committee approach is perfect — and it’s the same 6 or 7 guys that show, every year, they’re playing on a different level than everyone else. AP, Ray Rice, Arian Foster, those breakout games DeMarco Murray had, LeSean McCoy, even guys like Forte that haven’t been able to put up the stats…why a team isn’t spending the extra $2-3M/year for a player at a crucial position that can dominate — or break open — a game for you, I don’t get.

    Call it a passing league all you want, but when you’re in the playoffs with TJ Yates, or when your playbook is checkdowns to Rice, or when your Dream Team can’t pull it together, it’s the franchise running back that wins you games. Otherwise, you’re the Bucs offense. The Cardinals offense. Most of the time when you go “running back by committee,” what you’re saying is, “we don’t have one guy we can depend on.” And who wants that?

  7. mikemcdorman says: Mar 27, 2012 12:24 PM

    I want Trent over Blackmon for the Browns. I’m not at all convinced that Blackmon is NFL elite material. He’s no Megatron.

  8. omegalh says: Mar 27, 2012 12:25 PM

    Name the last time a top-flight RB won the super bowl. Nuff said.

  9. trbowman says: Mar 27, 2012 12:25 PM

    That’s what teams try to convince themselves.

    Still not worth it.

  10. badhayes says: Mar 27, 2012 12:25 PM

    If he make it to #7, Jags should take him. Yes we need a WR/DE but if Trent is BAP then take him.

  11. guru506 says: Mar 27, 2012 12:27 PM

    Cleveland cannot pass on Richardson

  12. KIR says: Mar 27, 2012 12:28 PM

    Great/good RB’s are not easy to replace. It’s incorrect and only works if you have a franchise QB’s ie Rodgers, Brady, Brees and Roethlisberger. 7 out of the 12 playoff teams had great RB’s. There are close to (18) RB’s that teams would go belly up if they were lost or at least be dramatically less effective. Great RB’s are easy to replace is nothing more than an often repeated myth. Which of these back could have been easily replaced?

    PLAYOFFS
    Arian Foster, HOU
    Frank Gore, SF
    Ray Rice, BAL
    Michael Turner, ATL
    Cedric Benson, CIN
    Rashard Mendenhall, PIT
    Darren Sproles, NO

  13. We'reFineThere says: Mar 27, 2012 12:28 PM

    The position is not devalued in the draft, it’s devalued in free agency/contract extensions. Many teams are looking for fresh legs at (relatively) cheap prices. Remember 2 years ago with Mathews and Spiller? Last year was an anomaly because no player was worth it at the top of the draft.

    There are a lot of runningbacks out there without jobs and a lot of teams with the same idea of filling those roster spots through the draft.

  14. Tarkus says: Mar 27, 2012 12:29 PM

    Good thing about drafting a talent like Richardson is that you pretty much use him up on the cheap, with the new rookie wage scale. By the time he gets to his second contract, he’s probably already going to be on the downside of his career, so you can just let him go.

  15. braven4evr says: Mar 27, 2012 12:30 PM

    @ thraiderskin

    The last time I looked Ray Rice was a running back also. In fact he’s a very good one at that!

  16. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins says: Mar 27, 2012 12:30 PM

    I’d still rather see us take one of the tackles or Claiborne(or better yet, trade down if possible), but Mayock is one of the very few analysts I pay any attention to, and seeing this has definitely helped warm me up to the idea. I don’t think it would be the wisest move, but I can also see why we’d do it and I won’t throw a Jets fan fit if it happens.

  17. profootballwalk says: Mar 27, 2012 12:30 PM

    Say Richardson becomes the third best back in the league this season. Football Outsiders rated Marshawn Lynch the third best back last season.

    Ask yourself – would you have taken Marshawn Lynch with the 4-5 pick in the draft?

  18. hebert15 says: Mar 27, 2012 12:31 PM

    Patriots shoul move up and get this guy!!!

  19. hmbutter49 says: Mar 27, 2012 12:31 PM

    richardson is overrated, he’s nowhere near the player that AP is, doesn’t have breakaway speed and “homerun hitting” ability. i see him as a poor mans stephen jackson, and yes, he will slip out of the top 10

  20. hebert15 says: Mar 27, 2012 12:31 PM

    Patriots should move up and get this guy!!!

  21. ajknox88 says: Mar 27, 2012 12:33 PM

    djteknision1200 says:
    Mar 27, 2012 12:21 PM
    I would never pick a RB in the 1st round now. The value is no longer there for them. Most teams find more than adequate RB in the later rounds. The NFL is a passing league at the moment.
    _____

    Valid point, but you must not have watched this guy play. He is by far the best running back to come out in the last 5 years.

  22. bullybirds says: Mar 27, 2012 12:33 PM

    Browns,

    Dont overthink your way out of a great player again. Colt needs a running game.

    Signed
    Ravens Nation

  23. 6ball says: Mar 27, 2012 12:33 PM

    .

    Bucs invested a lot of money in guard Carl Nicks. I’m inclined to believe it signaled a renewed interest in running the ball.

    .

  24. ty46 says: Mar 27, 2012 12:33 PM

    I don’t want the classless, draft pick stealer Jeff Fisher to have a chance at Claiborne, Kalil or Blackmon.

  25. hmbutter49 says: Mar 27, 2012 12:33 PM

    @kir
    you made the argument against yourself, how many of those backs were high picks? (and cedric benson is ridiculously easy to replace)

  26. bigt33 says: Mar 27, 2012 12:35 PM

    Trent will disappoint y’all, all of his yards were late in games, guys in the nfl are a lot faster

  27. idriveamoped says: Mar 27, 2012 12:36 PM

    Not to say that the rules arent nec. but this is what happens when the slightest contact to a WR results in a penalty. “I am not talking about the blasting apart players like some safeties are known for” but rather the physical battles that should go on, but now result in penalties.

    Wr’s that cross over the middle used to be a HUGE asset. Now it has become expected, because the player has no fear. Why go with a running back when you can get younger at WR and score more points?

  28. zampft says: Mar 27, 2012 12:38 PM

    Vikings need OL (and CB)
    Browns need WR (and RB)
    Bucs need CB (and RB)

    If they all take their primary need, he falls past the top 5, and from there it’s a littany of teams that don’t need a running back.

    Will be very interesting.

  29. vegaskid21 says: Mar 27, 2012 12:39 PM

    Down here in Tampa all the sports radio stations are saying that the Bucs are getting Richardson. I just don’t see him slipping past Cleveland.

  30. andyreidisfat says: Mar 27, 2012 12:40 PM

    Umm hasn’t a rb gone in the top 15 almost every year in the past decade ?

    The fact that a ton of backs are making 7mill plus is “de”valued ?

    Or is it reAlly just no backs were worth it in last years draft and this offseason had a bunch of over the hill losers ?

    A.P. , shady, lynch, Forte, foster, M.J.D., Johnson. Just to name a few of the running backs that either are or are about to get big time contracts would disagree. The real way to say it is that yes teams are passing more so back up/ change of pace guys are being devalued, front line top tier guys are in reality making more money than ever. But hey once again why let facts get in the way of whatever crappy meme you want to push.

  31. zampft says: Mar 27, 2012 12:40 PM

    There’s a big reason for the Bucs to pass on him: they have a gigantic need at cornerback. Ronde Barber is 150 years young, and Aqib Talib will be in jail for the next 150 years.

  32. toonsterwu says: Mar 27, 2012 12:43 PM

    As much as the NFL is a passing league now, an elite running back can still make a difference. The problem is, more times than not, backs that are perceived as the best in the draft aren’t elite. In this case, Trent is elite. He’ll protect a young QB with his running abilities, acting as an outlet receiver, and standing a rusher up. He’s got legit speed, and the size to maul people. If I had an elite talent at another position of need, maybe I pass on the RB, but this is a fairly thin draft on elite talent.

    I tend to think the Browns won’t pass him up unless a great trade comes along. I mean, the Browns have been rumored to be leaning towards adding offensive support. Is Blackmon that elite of a guy to justify taking him at 4 over Richardson, instead of taking Richardson and a WR at 22? Blackmon is a great fit for the crossing routes in that offense, but is he an elite enough of a talent to justify passing on Richardson. If they don’t think Tannehill is elite, and they want to go offense, Richardson makes a ton of sense (now if they decide to go BPA, and decide Claiborne is worth it, that’s a different equation). They could still likely get a 2nd tier QB in the early 2nd. The only risk with this scenario is that both McCoy and said 2nd tier QB struggle enough to make them want to go for a QB next year, but the addition of Richardson and offensive support make them decent enough that they would have to make a Redskins type of deal to move up to get a QB. But I could also see the Browns viewing this as an opportunity to build a supporting cast, either for McCoy, or whoever is their QB in the future.

    Richardson would be a better Shaun Alexander for Holmgren. You just have to make sure you don’t waste his prime years, like the Rams with Steven Jackson. If for some reason they pass, with the Bucs signing Vincent Jackson and Eric Wright, I really doubt they pass on Richardson, with Blount in his final year (I think) and coming off a lackluster campaign where he was said to be overweight.

  33. starfan79 says: Mar 27, 2012 12:43 PM

    I hope some takes him fairly early.. Improves Dallas chance of getting quinton coples

  34. Manbearpig says: Mar 27, 2012 12:43 PM

    2009 Super Bowl Champions – New Orleans Saints*

  35. ajschn06 says: Mar 27, 2012 12:44 PM

    coonsqualler says:Mar 27, 2012 12:20 PM

    He sure would look good in my Brownies uniform. Boy, could he help out McCoy along with the best wideout at #22.

    Just Sayin’…Go Brownies!!
    ———————————————————-

    Nobody looks good in a Browns uniform..

  36. realitypolice says: Mar 27, 2012 12:45 PM

    @KIR:

    Arian Foster: Undrafted free agent

    Frank Gore: Third round draft pick

    Ray Rice: Second round draft pick

    Michael Turner: Fifth round draft pick

    Cedric Benson: Fourth overall pick and WORST of this group.

    Rashard Mendenhall: 23rd overall draft pick

    Darren Sproles: Fourth round draft pick

    Thanks for making the point that there is no need to use a Top 10 pick on a RB when franchise backs can be found much later.

  37. sfsaintsfan says: Mar 27, 2012 12:49 PM

    I think the Bucs will and should take Trent Richardson at number 5. If they do, they should be able to give the Falcons a run at the #2 spot in the NFC South. I think Carolina has the #4 taken.

  38. buccaboo says: Mar 27, 2012 12:50 PM

    Mayock is not God. He also told everybody that Gerald McCoy was a better prospect than Suh. Everybody in Tampa saw how that advice worked. NOT!
    The Bucs need major help at linebacker and corner. I would be more happy getting Kuechly or Claiborne at #5 and then a RB in the 2nd round

  39. tommccrossin says: Mar 27, 2012 12:50 PM

    I’m not sure, would it really affect the team that much to take him as an upgrade over Blount? The kid’s talented, but the Bucs have some serious problems. I don’t think upgrading their above average tailback is going to help them enough

  40. avanderlay says: Mar 27, 2012 12:50 PM

    Sorry, but despite this rosy write-up this guy does not wow me at all. Blount is a VERY solid starter IMO and the Bucs just need to draft some depth behind him in the later rounds.

    Hoping Claiborne is there for the Bucs.

  41. snoopyjoecool says: Mar 27, 2012 12:52 PM

    If he can catch passes out of the backfield then he’ll make an impact really fast. Look at the guys who did that last year – Foster, Rice, Sproles, Forte, etc. – and the impact they had on their team’s success.

    No Browns! Let’s keep him out of the AFC North!

  42. tlee0208 says: Mar 27, 2012 12:54 PM

    From Marshall Faulk–>Steven Jackson–> Trent Richardson, the rams have been atrocious but atleast we have some beastly running backs

  43. mistersmith22 says: Mar 27, 2012 12:57 PM

    realitypolice says:
    Mar 27, 2012 12:45 PM

    Thanks for making the point that there is no need to use a Top 10 pick on a RB when franchise backs can be found much later.

    ———————-

    Yeah, and Tom Brady went 199th in the 6th. All that proves, with the above list, is that not every “sure thing” is a sure thing, and not all scouts can read the future.

  44. marshawnlynchlookslikepredator says: Mar 27, 2012 12:57 PM

    The Raiders went belly up without McFadden. It’s all about the offense you run whether a top flight RB is necessary. If you don’t have a top tier QB, then RBs become much more important.

  45. capthowdy666 says: Mar 27, 2012 12:57 PM

    You are making the point for running back being de-valued! Foster wasn’t drafted, Sproles 4th round, Turner 5th round, even ray rice was a 2nd round pick, thats why it would be a mistake to take him in the top 10

  46. KIR says: Mar 27, 2012 1:00 PM

    @omegalh

    Name the last time a top-flight RB won the super bowl. Nuff said.
    _______________________

    Name the last time a pro bowl LT won the Super Bowl. Do you now see how silly the question is? You can almost insert any position except QB in your question.

  47. bucforever says: Mar 27, 2012 1:02 PM

    This should be a no brainer for the Bucs first pick . Trent has a superstar talent as an all purpose running back that this team has not seen since Mike Alstott. I only hope he is still there at number 5 or they will have to use
    Plan B….. whatever that is.

  48. oldbrowndawg says: Mar 27, 2012 1:02 PM

    The Browns haven’t had a running back of this caliber since the days of Ernest Byner and Kevin Mack. Take him at #4!!!!!

  49. davidtmp says: Mar 27, 2012 1:03 PM

    In the right offensive system that utilizes the RB in the passing game, Richardson could be a stud. If you are the John Fox type that run, run, draw, punt….you aren’t going to find the value in him.
    If I’m looking at him from a fantasy perspective, he could be a stud much like Ray Rice is if you are in a PPR league.

  50. dv5454 says: Mar 27, 2012 1:05 PM

    Name the last team that won a Super Bowl because it had a world class running back. . . Walter Payton in 85?

    Winning in the NFL is all about quarterbacks and controlling the line of scrimmage.

  51. thraiderskin says: Mar 27, 2012 1:06 PM

    Braven4ver

    I was talking about guys taken in the Top 10 for the position in the first round of the draft. Ray Rice is a beast, but he wasn’t taken as a top draft pick. I was simply pointing out that with a few exceptions over the years, teams are finding incredible talent far later from the top 10 in the draft. I certainly wasn’t saying CJ Spiller (the question mark was to show I wasn’t entirely sure he was taken in the top 10) was a Top 10 running back at this time, especially over Mr. Rice.

  52. mightyquinn69 says: Mar 27, 2012 1:08 PM

    No way he is worth drafting inside the top 10. It’s not like he was a dominate running back in college. He was very good, but not great! Was his stats better then his Ingrams?

  53. despinosa8 says: Mar 27, 2012 1:15 PM

    To slow for a RB. He’s no AP or Run DMC and has bust written all over him…

  54. bozosforall says: Mar 27, 2012 1:22 PM

    dv5454 says:
    Mar 27, 2012 1:05 PM
    Name the last team that won a Super Bowl because it had a world class running back. . . Walter Payton in 85?

    Winning in the NFL is all about quarterbacks and controlling the line of scrimmage.

    __
    The 1985 Bears won that Super Bowl because of defense, not Payton.

    But if you want the last SB that was won with a HOF RB, then you would have to go with Marshall Faulk and the Rams.

    The smart teams always take BPA. Eventually, you end up with a team full of BPAs, which eventually become a great team, capable of winning multiple titles. The Steelers are a prime example of this.

  55. zampft says: Mar 27, 2012 1:23 PM

    Blount really was hurt by not having OTA’s during the lockout. Lots of raw talent, but clearly some bad habits and no direction.

    Can he be coached and learn to be a good running back? Hard to say. But the OL they’ve built in Tampa Bay should be good enough for even my grandmother to rack up the yards next year.

    None of that will matter if the Bucs don’t sign a linebacker during what’s left of free agency though. They had the worst defense in the league last year (and in franchise history), and have done almost nothing to shore it up.

    The running game won’t matter if you have to play catch up every game.

  56. andyreiddoublecheeseburger says: Mar 27, 2012 1:28 PM

    Didn’t they say the same thing about Ingram last year?

  57. thcnote says: Mar 27, 2012 1:32 PM

    hmbutter49 says:
    Mar 27, 2012 12:31 PM
    richardson is overrated, he’s nowhere near the player that AP is, doesn’t have breakaway speed and “homerun hitting” ability. i see him as a poor mans stephen jackson, and yes, he will slip out of the top 10
    ——
    He also won’t fumble 4 times in a playoff game and cost his team a chance at a Super Bowl.

  58. tommikula says: Mar 27, 2012 1:33 PM

    Browns need skill players, I am always all for drafting interior linemen high, but they need a RB and a few WR. Trent should be a Brown at #4. Receivers can be taken all over the draft and be productive, hell the Steelers have made a living at that.

  59. KIR says: Mar 27, 2012 1:35 PM

    @hmbutter49 says: Mar 27, 2012 12:33 PM

    @kir
    you made the argument against yourself, how many of those backs were high picks? (and cedric benson is ridiculously easy to replace)
    ______________________________
    If teams are not drafting RB’s in the 1st round doesn’t mean they SHOULDN’T have drafted a RB in the 1st round. Here are the RB’s that in my opinion teams would go belly up without. How many of these players are replaceable?

    PLAYOFFS
    Arian Foster, HOU
    Frank Gore, SF
    Ray Rice, BAL
    Michael Turner, ATL
    Cedric Benson, CIN
    Rashard Mendenhall, PIT
    Darren Sproles, NO

    NON PLAYOFFS
    Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC
    Adrian Peterson, MIN
    Darren McFadden, OAK
    Matt Forte, CHI
    Fred Jackson, BUF
    Chris Johnson, TEN
    LeSean McCoy, PHI
    Marshawn Lynch, SEA
    Steven Jackson, STL
    Shonn Greene, NYJ
    DeMarco Murray, DAL

  60. KIR says: Mar 27, 2012 1:36 PM

    @hmbutter49

    That’s EASILY replaceable.

  61. davidjcu says: Mar 27, 2012 1:40 PM

    So the Texans would of made it to the playoffs with the arm of their 3rd string QB and not having a elite rushing attack. Look how the Bears crumbled without Matt Forte, the Chiefs without Charles, and Raiders without McFadden. How terrible the Ravens would of been without Ray Rice. These guys aren’t going to get the mega contracts but you they aren’t a dime a dozen. The days of RBs getting huge long term deals with big signing bonuses is over.

  62. thehouseofho says: Mar 27, 2012 1:40 PM

    braven4evr says:
    Mar 27, 2012 12:30 PM
    @ thraiderskin

    The last time I looked Ray Rice was a running back also. In fact he’s a very good one at that!

    ———-

    Ray Rice wasn’t a top 10 pick.

  63. jwreck says: Mar 27, 2012 1:47 PM

    KIR — Good point, well-written paragraph, god-awful list. Aside from the points others have made about your listed backs’ draft postions, you asked about which of these backs could have been replaced. The answer: most of them.

    KIR says: Mar 27, 2012 12:28 PM
    [...]

    PLAYOFFS
    Arian Foster, HOU– Ok, I’ll give you that one

    Frank Gore, SF — That one too

    Ray Rice, BAL– Three for three so far.

    Michael Turner, ATL– After a downer year, Turner was a big help in Atlanta’s offense scoring not a single point in their playoff game. I give him one more year in the ATL, his career is coming to a close.

    Cedric Benson, CIN — First off: Benson is awful. You ask how they could possibly replace him? They already have, with Benjarvus Green-Ellis. Though the Law Firm is a solid back, he is not a game changer or even a playmaker, he’s sturdy, reliable, and unspectacular. According to the Bengals, those three attributes make him a significant upgrade over Benson.

    Rashard Mendenhall, PIT — Literally was replaced. Mendenhall, who was not especially impressive early in 2011, was already being worked out of the lineup by Isaac Redman when he tore his ACL in week 15. It has been speculated that he may not have much of a future in Pittsburgh.

    Darren Sproles, NO — Not only can Sproles be easily replaced, he is, in fact, a replacement. Though there’s no denying Sproles had a great season in 2011. However, he is not, and has never been, a back who can carry the load for his whole team. Though he is a playmaker and can break a game open on any given play, Mark Ingram was New Orleans intended primary running back, and Sproles just stepped up to fill a void when Ingram went down for the season. Do not expect Sproles to have anywhere near the same number of touches next year.

  64. dexterismyhero says: Mar 27, 2012 1:48 PM

    @Manbearpig says:Mar 27, 2012 12:43 PM

    2009 Super Bowl Champions – New Orleans Saints*
    =================================

    2005 Hurricane Champions–NOLA

  65. piemasteruk says: Mar 27, 2012 1:52 PM

    The fact that RBs are devalued has nothing to do with the league becoming a passing league. It’s just the slow realisation that:

    1. The difference between a good RB and an average one (all other things, such as scheme and protection, being equal) is just not that great.

    2. The old idea of a ‘feature back’ is going out of vogue, with a committee of 2-3 RBs staying fresher and able to step in in case of injury proving more effective.

    3. RBs just don’t have a long shelf life. They probably have 3-4 years of heavy use, then they are often ready for the knackers yard and one bad injury (which they are especially prone to) can shorten this even further. Why would you give an RB a big signing bonus and multi-year contract when 2 years later you might have to release him?

  66. joey8888 says: Mar 27, 2012 2:06 PM

    “I still don’t understand this “devalued” stuff. It’s not like the committee approach is perfect — and it’s the same 6 or 7 guys that show, every year, they’re playing on a different level than everyone else. AP, Ray Rice, Arian Foster, those breakout games DeMarco Murray had, LeSean McCoy, even guys like Forte that haven’t been able to put up the stats…why a team isn’t spending the extra $2-3M/year for a player at a crucial position that can dominate — or break open — a game for you, I don’t get. ” uh, buddy, you just defeated your own point; how many first rounders do you see among Rice, FOster and Murray. Any GM who uses a top 10 on a running back should be fired as he’s handing in the card

  67. ademell1 says: Mar 27, 2012 2:07 PM

    Browns HAVE to get Richardson at 4.

    Wait for Weeden at #22, or trade down a bit more.

    Weeden would be a great challenge for McCoy. He’s a a couple years under 30, he knows he has to come in and pretty much start for a team.

    Weeden will push McCoy or (likely) beat him out for the job, and with Richardson helping them out, they’ll both have less pressure on em’.

  68. emperorzero says: Mar 27, 2012 2:29 PM

    I think one of the things that gets forgotten about Richardson is that he was the best back in Alabama the year Ingram won the Heisman. Ingram got the press, but Richardson was much more explosive and had the bigger plays.

  69. jackshine says: Mar 27, 2012 2:34 PM

    4. CLE- Morris Claiborne

    5. TB- Something Crazy. (I think Schiano is the next Belichick style drafter, will he be closer to BB or Josh McD?)

    6. STL- Blackmon (They pick up 3 1st rounders and still get their mam.”

    7. JAX- When this pick comes up I just hope its not a player I like in the draft, for obvious reasons.

  70. shackdelrio says: Mar 27, 2012 2:41 PM

    Mike Mayock is Lady Gaga to Mel Kiper’s Madonna.

  71. bucwild05 says: Mar 27, 2012 2:51 PM

    After reading all these comments, you should all be coaching, you’re so smart. Is Richardson worth a top 5 pick? That’s up to the team that drafts him, and what their game plan is. If they have a Tom Brady who is an elite QB, they will rely on passing more than running, so maybe not as important.

    If your Defense sucks, really bad, then maybe you need to hang onto the ball longer, so you’ll run the ball.

    Remember “the greatest show on turf”? Elite RB and QB. The Rams were talked about constantly, and won the Superbowl. The relied on the offense to win the SB…. So… Depending on the Teams wants and Needs, they’ll make the decision based on that. Sure, TB needs a CB, and Claiborne would be awesome, however, if they want to blow up the offense, then they will go for Richardson…. It’s what the team wants, and not all you fans that think you know it all sitting on the couch.

  72. dasmol says: Mar 27, 2012 2:55 PM

    Personally, I think that Running Backs are a dime a dozen. You want a good RB, have a good offensive line.

    That said, you don’t pass up on an elite RB. They are game changers, game managers and defensive nightmares. They make all the other offensive weapons better.

    If this Richardson kid is as good as advertised, teams in need of a RB, or star player, shouldn’t think twice about taking him in the first.

  73. steelcityrapist says: Mar 27, 2012 3:14 PM

    Why use a top pick on a RB when you can get one for cheap in free agency and draft a WR.

  74. dawgtown86 says: Mar 27, 2012 3:23 PM

    There are currently some great running backs taken in later rounds (and time will tell how they stack up) but historically the all-time greats have been first rounders:

    Round 1, Pick #1 – Earl Campbell
    Round 1, Pick #1 – OJ Simpson
    Round 1, Pick #2 – Eric Dickerson
    Round 1, Pick #2 – Marshall Faulk
    Round 1, Pick #2 – Tony Dorsett
    Round 1, Pick #3 – Barry Sanders
    Round 1, Pick #4 – Walter Payton
    Round 1, Pick #4 – Gale Sayers
    Round 1, Pick #5 – LaDainian Tomlinson
    Round 1, Pick #6 – Jim Brown
    Round 1, Pick #7 – Adrian Peterson
    Round 1, Pick #8 – Larry Czonka
    Round 1, Pick #10 – Marcus Allen
    Round 1, Pick #10 – Jerome Bettis
    Round 1, Pick #17 – Emmit Smith

  75. armeniandelight4 says: Mar 27, 2012 3:49 PM

    They should bring back Mike Alstott to block for him.

  76. buffsoup says: Mar 27, 2012 3:55 PM

    Really… I think TR is a great talent, but I wonder how much it costs now to get a top 10 endoresement from Mayock. This is joke.

  77. osage44 says: Mar 27, 2012 4:00 PM

    Mayock likes to hear himself talk, doesn’t he? Anyway, Richardson is the most overrated player in this draft class. He just is. Any team who takes him in the top 10 is being run by a fool.

  78. schmitty2 says: Mar 27, 2012 4:07 PM

    avanderlay says: Mar 27, 2012 12:50 PM
    Sorry, but despite this rosy write-up this guy does not wow me at all. Blount is a VERY solid starter IMO and the Bucs just need to draft some depth behind him in the later rounds.

    Hoping Claiborne is there for the Bucs

    VERY solid starter?? The guy was yanked at the end of the season for fumbling problems. Can’t catch passes out of the backfield and average blocker at best

  79. Deb says: Mar 27, 2012 4:32 PM

    As a Bama fan I can tell you guys, Richardson was not overrated. I adore Mark Ingram–who walked away from the Tide with a Heisman–and Trent may be even better. The guy is a beast. I’d give anything if the Steelers had a chance at him.

  80. realitypolice says: Mar 27, 2012 4:33 PM

    @dawgtown86:

    Every back on that list, with the possible exception of LDT, played in a profoundly different era of NFL football where the RB was the focal point of the offense.

  81. benpatterson85 says: Mar 27, 2012 4:33 PM

    I am a diehard Bucs fan have been my whole life and i have been on the Claiborne bandwagon but I have been watching a lot of Richardsons tape recently and I have to say that I hope the Bucs are able to pick him at 5. The guy is going to be a beast he has it all from break away speed to blocking and catching out of the back field he can do it all I love Blount he is a beast as well but he could learn a thing or 2 from Richardson and I think that 1-2 punch would be one of the best in the league I just hope he comes to Tampa with our O-line and with Freeman to Jackson we can be right up there with the best in the league as soon as this team gels and get used to one another we are going to be an offense you have to fear in the next few years LETS GO BUCS!!!!

  82. benpatterson85 says: Mar 27, 2012 4:37 PM

    marshawnlynchlookslikepredator says: Mar 27, 2012 12:57 PM

    The Raiders went belly up without McFadden. It’s all about the offense you run whether a top flight RB is necessary. If you don’t have a top tier QB, then RBs become much more important.

    The Raiders didnt go belly up with out McFadden they went belly up as soon as Campbell went down and they you traded for a couch potato qb in Palmer not to say he will not be good this year but last year the guy sat for what 6 weeks at home and then the raiders threw him in there without being able to gel with the team not the best idea

  83. southpaw2k says: Mar 27, 2012 4:45 PM

    dv5454 says:
    Mar 27, 2012 1:05 PM
    Name the last team that won a Super Bowl because it had a world class running back. . . Walter Payton in 85?

    Winning in the NFL is all about quarterbacks and controlling the line of scrimmage.

    ————————————————-

    I agree with your second sentence, but I’d say Marshall Faulk in ’99 sinks your first argument.

  84. eachdayisbetterthanthenext says: Mar 27, 2012 5:03 PM

    omegalh says: Mar 27, 2012 12:25 PM

    Name the last time a top-flight RB won the super bowl. Nuff said.

    How about Jerome Bettis?
    How about Marshall Faulk?

  85. teamobijuan says: Mar 27, 2012 5:38 PM

    Adrian Peterson is one of the best ever, but who knows how he’ll be after the surgery?

  86. grimreeper says: Mar 27, 2012 7:59 PM

    Sorry I love this guy if I were picking first in the draft he would be my first pick. Remember once you have the lead you need a pounder and someone who might break one so guess what he can be that back

  87. bouchez9393 says: Mar 27, 2012 11:40 PM

    T Rich is the man, the bucs have the o line , the receivers and a qb, let Blount pound the ball and use Trent as out of the backfield option, or just pitch it to him and watch him run 20 yards, this is the guy they need to solidify their offense. They spent the first 2 rounds of the draft in the last 2 years making sure their defense will be great in the future, so this draft pick should be the final piece of the puzzle!

  88. shadylamp says: Mar 28, 2012 12:24 AM

    It’s so obvious what Heckert is doing here. He really wants a trade down with Miami. Miami really wants Tannehill. They really played their hand by pursuing Manning and Flynn so hard. This is a brilliant move by the Browns brass.

  89. hmbutter49 says: Mar 28, 2012 3:44 AM

    @thcnote
    he also won’t be the best player on the team and lead them to an nfc title game like peterson and be the primary reason his team HAS a chance at the super bowl

  90. hmbutter49 says: Mar 28, 2012 3:48 AM

    @kir
    most of those players are replaceable, even arian foster, i bet you ben tate would put up really similar numbers with the full time job. i’ll give you peterson, mjd, mccoy, rice and maybe forte, but shonn green? are you f-ing kidding me? demarco murray?

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