Why the Browns Shouldn't Pass on Trent Richardson

Written By: Eric Olinger

With the NFL Draft only a few days away, you will hear more misinformation and bad publicity about a player than at any time during his career; unless of course he sucker punched a woman at a night club (I’m looking at you Brandon Marshall) or ate his weed after getting pulled over and caught in possession for the 2nd time in as many months (Mr. Leshoure). But truth is, most of these kids are good people and the NFL powers that be are simply trying to lower their stock to the point that a player falls to them. Morris Claiborne isn’t stupid, according to people close to him he has a form of dyslexia and it affects his test taking. If you can cover a 6’4” guy that runs a 4.39, I don’t care if you can tell me what his jersey says.

The other thing happening is the belief that running backs are becoming so devalued that Trent Richardson is not worth taking in the Top 5. Some believe that the NFL has become such a RBBC league that you can find value in later rounds and be better off. There is even evidence this might be true. Ray Rice, MJD, and LeSean McCoy were all drafted later than the first round, and Arian Foster wasn’t even drafted at all! But there are exceptions to every rule. Adrian Peterson was drafted 7th overall by the Vikings and if that draft was redone today, he’d likely go even higher. Let’s take a look at the Top 10 RBs of all time in terms of rushing yards and where they were drafted.

Player                           Rd      Overall
Emmitt Smith                  1            17
Walter Payton                  1             4
Barry Sanders                  1             3
Curtis Martin                   3            74    
LaDanian Tomlinson      1            5
Jerome Bettis                   1            10
Eric Dickerson                 1             2
Tony Dorsett                    1             2
Jim Brown                        1             6
Marshall Faulk                1             2

Outside of Curtis Martin they were all drafted in the 1st round. And with exception to Emmitt Smith, all drafted in the Top 10. That doesn’t mean that every RB taken in the Top 10 will one day make this list, God knows there have been some flops, busts, and all around thundering turds. But if the skills are there, you should not pass on talent. If you’re drafting in the Top 10 EVERY year, you’re there for a reason (Cleveland, St. Louis, and Jacksonville). Your teams are void of talent. Outside of the couple years Jamal Lewis was toting the rock, the Browns have not had a truly feared ball carrier since they returned to the league. Hillis was a one year wonder and now he’s gone too. Richardson deserves to be taken in the Top 5 of this draft and Cleveland would be stupid to pass on him. If this league truly is a passing league and you’re going into 2012 with Colt McCoy as your starter, you obviously missed the memo. Get a strong running game and make them fear something…ANYTHING (Besides getting a staph infection from the filthy locker rooms). This team lacks an identity and any sort of offensive playmakers. Nobody on offense requires a double team or special attention.

Don’t let Greg Schiano get his hands on this guy, look at what he did with Ray Rice at Rutgers. If you give him Trent Richardson to form a 1-2 punch with Blount to complement Josh Freeman, Vincent Jackson, Mike Williams, and Kellen Winslow that offense could be lethal for a decade. You build a foundation through the draft and you add complementary pieces through free agency like Tampa is doing. Cleveland has routinely blown draft class after draft class.

Don’t make the same mistake in 2012 by passing on Trent Richardson.

Agree? Disagree? Feel free to leave a comment below or email Eric at ericolinger@idpguru.com. You can also follow his active Twitter feed @OlingerIDPGuru.

Last Updated: April 23,2012
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