2012 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

by Cory J. Bonini on February 24, 2012 @ 17:11:55 PDT

 


Alabama junior running back Trent Richardson enters the 2012 NFL Draft as the top-rated player at his position. He sat behind Mark Ingram (New Orleans Saints) until this past season, when he broke out for 2,017 offensive yards and 24 total scores.

Richardson brings a wealth of positives to the table and easily should be the first back chosen.

Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
The draft's best back

Strengths

  • Extremely powerful lower body and a fierce stiff arm
  • Great inside runner; tough to bring down - runs with a low center of gravity
  • Excellent balance and body control
  • Nimble feet - quick in short area
  • Highly productive in the nation's toughest defensive conference
  • Regularly generates yardage after first contact; breaking tackles may be his best attribute
  • Quality size (5-foot-11, 220 pounds)
  • Explosive first step
  • Finds cutback lanes and holes with ease
  • Prepared for NFL blitz pickup assignments
  • Played in a pro-style offense
  • Loves to spend time in the weight room
  • Limited mileage with only one collegiate season as a full-time starter
  • Durable
  • Better-than-average hands with experience running a multitude of routes out of the backfield
  • Considerable upside - Hall of Fame-caliber talent
  • Fluidly transfers the ball to his opposite hand and is cognizant of where he is on the field (moves ball to arm closest to sidelines, for example)

Weaknesses

  • Doesn't have elite top-end speed (although he is still fast enough to outrun most defenders that he has a step on)
  • Bruising style could lead to a short or injury-plagued career
  • Had the luxury of playing behind a great run-blocking offensive line
  • Underwent surgery after his sophomore year in high school to repair torn ankle ligaments; missed offseason workouts after a minor knee scope

Expected draft placement

There are several teams that will be interested in his services, but only a few spots seem to be likely landing spots. Don't be overly concerned about his knee scope, as he has been given a positive prognosis by esteemed orthopedist Dr. James Andrews. Richardson will hold a March 27 workout for teams.

The Cleveland Browns (No. 4) may be content with Colt McCoy at quarterback and feel that Richardson would give them a reliable running game to assist the young passer's maturation process.

It seems unlikely that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (No. 5) will address the position this early given their glaring defensive needs. At No. 6 overall, the Washington Redskins could be a good bet to land Richardson as Mike Shanahan continues to search for his bell cow tailback.

Should he slide past the 'Skins, Richardson could either freefall or be the target of a team trading up for him. The latter is far more likely to happen.

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About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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