Trent Richardson is one of the best running backs I have watched in college football, and he definitely didn’t disappoint those who had high expectations going into the 2011 season. This is a guy who is relentless, and not just on the field, but off. Richardson is an absolute beast in the weight room, and consistently puts in the time and effort required to be the superstar he has developed into.
He averaged over six yards per carry as a sophomore in 2010, and really developed as a receiver as well. He is one of the best players in the country, and he might be the best RB prospect to come along since Adrian Peterson in the class of 2007.
As a junior, the Heisman trophy finalist ran the ball 283 times for 1,679 yards and 21 touchdowns. He also set a career high with 29 receptions, and showed in the national championship game what makes him such a valuable player.
Richardson’s intangibles are a huge reason why he will be selected in the top 10 of the draft, but the fact that he backs that up with the ability on the field is a reason why he will be an elite NFL running back before you know it.
This is a guy who runs extremely hard, and I saw him make a cut in the BCS title game that honestly reminded me so much of Peterson it is scary. He’s also a very effective player on third down in terms of blitz pickup, which was also on display in the Crimson Tide’s victory over Alabama.
He’s got great speed and quickness to the hole, and one of the things I love most about him is his second and third gear. I realize it was late in the game, but when Richardson scored the first touchdown of the season between both LSU and Alabama in their two games, he made a cut to the outside and then blew by the second and third level of defense like they were, well, not LSU.
He’s an elite prospect, and if the Browns decide to move on from Peyton Hillis, getting Richardson would be a great selection with their first first round pick.