Trent Richardson

Richardson and Weeden complete rare feat

Cleveland Browns 1st-round picks Trent Richardson and Brandon Weedenpulled off a rare feat for a pair of rookies on Sunday afternoon against the Bengals.

Hopefully Weeden isn’t the next Tony Banks

They became the first pair of rookie teammates to throw for 300 yards and rush for 100 yards in the same game since 1996.

The down side to this accomplishment? The previous duo doesn’t exactly bring back memories of NFL greats.

On December 15, 1996, St. Louis Rams rookies Tony Banks and Lawrence Phillips lit up the scoreboard against the Atlanta Falcons. Unfortunately, Philips would go on to have just two more 100 yards games while Banks would throw for 300 just three more times.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Browns, Rookie Notes Leave a comment

Richardson expected to rejoin Browns next week

Cleveland Browns rookie running back Trent Richardson is expected to return to the practice field next week, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Richardson underwent arthroscopic knee surgery earlier this month, but the team is hopeful that he will be ready by opening weekend. In the meantime, Montario Hardesty has been handling the first-team duties, and has been backed up by veteran Brandon Jackson.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Browns, Draft Grades - 2012 Leave a comment

Impact Rookies: Trent Richardson

In 2010, the Cleveland Browns were briefly a dangerous team, upsetting the Saints and Patriots in consecutive weeks and taking the Jets into overtime. That was at the height of Peyton Hillis’ success in Cleveland, as he averaged over 130 total yards per game during that stretch.

The 2012 Browns offense should look similar to the 2010 version, with Trent Richardson playing the starring role.

Like Hillis, Richardson is a powerful downhill runner and can also contribute as a receiver out of the backfield. That combination should make him a workhorse from day one. He’ll be running behind an offensive line which features four returning starters, including Joe Thomas and Alex Mack, which should help ease his transition to the next level.

Considering the lack of playmakers in Cleveland, anything less than a 1,200 yard season would be a disappointment for Richardson.

Check out our full review of the Browns 2012 draft class

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Browns Leave a comment

Draft Grades: Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns hit a home run with their first selection… and it was all downhill from there. The Browns entered the draft with 13 picks – an opportunity to completely change the direction of this floundering franchise – but whiffed in such a way that it could cost Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert their jobs in the not-so-distant future.

Even taking into consideration the somewhat questionable trade, Trent Richardson was a great selection at No 3. The Browns needed to land a can’t-miss prospect in the top 10, and Richardson was arguably the best on the board. He will be a star from day one.

If the Browns were looking to change the face of the franchise, the accomplished that by selecting Brandon Weeden. But it feels like a lateral move to me. Regardless of your opinion of Weeden, the Browns are going nowhere fast. Even if all goes as planned, they won’t be serious contenders until 2014, when Weeden will be 31 years old. I could understand a more established team gambling on Weeden, but the selection simply does not make sense for a franchise with a steep uphill climb just to enter the playoff discussion.

Mitchell Schwartz was a reach in the early 2nd round. At best, he’ll be an average starting right tackle, and that’s not worth the 37th overall selection. He’s essentially a younger Tony Pashos, who the Browns recently released.

John Hughes may have been the reach of the draft. The Browns have two above average starting defensive tackles, and plan to use Frostee Rucker as the three-technique in passing situations. So where does Hughes fit in? It’s hard to do worse than a reach that doesn’t even fill a need.

Travis Benjamin is a track star masquerading as a football player. He could have value as a return specialist, but the Browns already have Josh Cribbs, who is backed up by the more-than-capable Buster Skrine. At best, Benjamin develops into a decent 4th option who can stretch the field, but he was not worth the 100th overall selection.

James-Michael Johnson adds some much-needed depth at the linebacker position. He will likely back up D’Qwell Jackson, but could play any of the three spots in Cleveland’s 4-3 defense.

Ryan Miller adds some depth at guard and could push Shaun Lauvao or Jason Pinkston for playing time, both of whom are coming off disappointing seasons. Lauvao led all guards in sacks allowed and penalties in 2011.

Emmanuel Acho will compete for the backup weak-side linebacker job, and could actually see some playing time early due to Scott Fujita’s suspension.

Billy Winn was arguably the Browns best selection other than Richardson. I gave him a fringe 3rd/4th-round grade and had him rated significantly higher than John Hughes.

Tevin Wade will compete with Buster Skrine for the 4th cornerback job. Like Skrine, he’s undersized and his upside is limited to playing the nickel corner role.

Brad Smelley blocked for Richardson at Alabama, and the Browns reportedly called Richardson about him before making the selection. It’s not a bad decision, but the Browns drafted Owen Marecic in the 4th round last year and parted with Lawrence Vickers to make room for him. What does that say about their evaluation process if they’re willing to give up on Marecic after one year?

I fail to see how this draft class changed Cleveland’s direction in any meaningful way. They have a power running game and a rookie quarterback… is that any different than two years when their offense featured Peyton Hillis and Colt McCoy, who, at the time, was viewed as a promising young quarterback? This draft class, coupled with the strong drafts of their division rivals, cemented the Browns place in the AFC North cellar.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Browns, Draft Grades - 2012 Leave a comment

Trent Richardson scouting report

Trent Richardson RB Alabama #3
Ht: 5’11″Wt: 224
Strengths:
Prototypical size and strength for a workhorse running back. Exceptional vision; does a great job reacting to the defense and hitting holes with a burst. A powerful downhill runner; strong legs allow him to easily break arm tackles and push the pile when he’s wrapped up. Quick feet. Good lateral movement for a guy his size – he’s more than just a north/south runner. Solid receiver out of the backfield; shows soft hands and does a nice job of quickly securing the ball and turning to get downfield.
Weaknesses:
Only one full year carry the load; split carries with Mark Ingram for the first two years of his career. Speed is good but not great; lacks the burst to consistently be productive running outside the tackles. A willing blocker, but technique needs refinement. Running style invites a lot of hits, he’ll wear down quickly if asked to carry the ball 20+ times per game over a 16-game schedule.
Comments:
Richardson reminds me of Steven Jackson. He’s a big, physical runner with just enough speed and quickness to make guys miss. But what stands out most his is vision. He sees the whole field and quickly identifies his holes, hitting them with an impressive burst. He has all the skills necessary to be an elite NFL running back and should be a star from day one.
School Bio
Trent Richardson could contend for All-SEC and All-America honors in 2011 … has proven why he was one of the nation’s top running back prospects as a backup to Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram during his first two years on campus, but 2011 promises to be a breakout year for the junior from Pensacola … burst onto the scene with 751 yards rushing and eight touchdowns on 145 carries in 2009 and followed that with 700 yards on 112 rushes in 2010 … possesses the power to break tackles and gain yards after contact and the speed to be a home run threat … a SEC All-Freshman selection by league coaches and Sporting News … won the Johnny Musso Offensive Back Award following 2010 spring practice and the Sylvester Croom Commitment to Excellence Award in 2011 along with the Dixie Howell Memorial Most Valuable Player of the A-Day Game Award.
2011
2010
Richardson started the first two games of the season at running back in place of an injured Mark Ingram … his performances made the loss of Ingram go almost unnoticed against San Jose State and Penn State … earned second-team All-SEC as both an all-purpose back and a return specialist … second on the team with 700 yards rushing with six rushing touchdowns … averaged a team high 6.2 yards per carry (minimum 75 carries) … had two 100-yard rushing games — 144 vs. Penn State and 119 at Tennessee … averaged 63.6 yards per game that ranked 89th nationally and 11th in the SEC … caught 23 passes for 266 yards and four touchdowns for an 11.6 yards per catch average …. led the team with 36 explosive plays of 15 yards or more (nine rushing, five receiving, 22 kickoff returns) … second on the team with 32 first down carries and had nine first-down receptions … averaged 26.42 yards on kickoff returns (24 for 634) to rank 29th nationally and fourth in the SEC … 21st nationally and second in the conference with 145.45 all-purpose yards per game (1,600 yards) … a seven-time player of the week by the Tide coaching staff with three offensive and four special teams awards … named to the Paul Hornung Award watch list, which goes to the nation’s most versatile player.San Jose State: Started his first career game and averaged 6.6 yards per carry, finishing with 66 yards on 10 carries … caught three passes for 46 yards … scored two rushing touchdowns. Penn State: Recorded the third 100-yard rushing game of his career … tallied a career-best 144 yards on 22 carries and one touchdown … caught four passes out of the backfield for 46 yards … finished with 207 all-purpose yards. Duke: Came off the bench to spell Ingram and finished with 61 yards on seven carries for 8.71 yards per carry … scored one rushing touchdown on a 45-yard sprint, virtually untouched, through the Blue Devil defense … also returned a second-quarter kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown, the first Tide player to return a kickoff for a score since Tyrone Prothro in 2004 … finished with 184 all-purpose yards. Arkansas: His 227 all-purpose yards against the Razorbacks earned him recognition as one of the Paul Hornung Award’s Most Versatile Performances of the Week … gained 85 yards on eight carries (10.6 ypc), 25 yards on two receptions and 117 yards on four kickoff returns … scored his sixth touchdown of the season on a 20-yard screen pass in the Tide’s second-half comeback. Florida: Ran for a team-high 63 yards on 10 carries … broke free for a 30-yard gain in the first half to set up a score … returned three kicks for 58 yards with a long of 23 … totaled 121 all-purpose yards.South Carolina: Named the Special Teams Player of the Week by the coaching staff with six kickoff returns for 142 yards and a long of 31 yards … carried the ball six times for 23 yards … caught two passes for 12 yards. Mississippi: Did a little bit of everything in the Tide’s 23-10 win over Mississippi … accounted for 220 all-purpose yards … set a career high with an 85-yard reception for a touchdown … finished with 101 yards on five receptions … rushed 11 times for 45 yards while returning three kickoffs for 74 yards. Tennessee: Broke free for 119 yards on just 12 carries for an average of 9.92 yards per tote … scored on a career-long 65-yard touchdown run in the third quarter … had five first down rushes … caught one pass. LSU: Rushed six times for 28 yards including a 22-yard first down burst to the Tigers’ 1-yard line … caught a touchdown pass on the next play only to sprain his left knee as tackles piled on after the play out of bounds … returned to the game but saw limited action after that. Auburn: Returned to the field after missing the Mississippi State and Georgia State games with a sprained knee … rushed the ball 10 times for 24 yards and one first-down carry … also caught three passes for nine yards.Michigan State: Rushed 10 times for 42 yards and one rushing touchdown on a nine-yard plunge in the second quarter of a 49-7 win over the No. 7 Spartans … caught one pass for 12 yards … had two first downs rushing and one receiving … returned one kickoff for 18 yards … finished with 72 all-purpose yards.
2009
He was an explosive option at running back off the bench for the Crimson Tide as a true freshman in 2009 … a SEC All-Freshman selection by league coaches and Sporting News … finished with 751 yards rushing on 145 carries and eight touchdowns in 14 games … averaged 5.2 yards per carry … ranked 10th in the SEC in rushing with 53.64 yards per game … also had 16 receptions for 126 yards … had a reception in 10-of-14 games … 37 rushes and eight receptions went for a first down or touchdown … had 12 explosive rushes of 12 yards or more … averaged 64.1 all-purpose yards per game … his long rush was a 52-yard burst vs. Arkansas where he broke five tackles on his way to the end zone … also broke free for a 49-yard scoring dash against Texas … recorded two 100-yard rushing games with 118 yards vs. Florida International and 109 yards against Texas in the Citi BCS National Championship Game. Virginia Tech: Came off the bench late in the second half to rush for 10 yards on three carries. Florida International: Saw more extensive playing time after Roy Upchruch sprained an ankle early in the first half and Mark Ingram was limited with the flu … took advantage of that playing time, rushing for 118 yards on 15 carries with two touchdowns … also caught two passes for 23 yards … had three first-down rushes and two first-down receptions vs. the Panthers. North Texas: Carried the ball 11 times for 87 yards for a 7.9 yards per carry average … scored his third touchdown of the season with a one-yard run in the second quarter … caught one pass for three yards … had four rushes that were good for first downs. Arkansas: Produced one of the best runs of the 2009 college football season with his 52-yard burst up the Alabama sideline for the Tide’s first score against the Razorbacks … bounced off and ran through five Hog tacklers and then out ran an Arkansas defensive back to the end zone … finished with 65 yards on nine carries … also caught two passes for 16 yards. Kentucky:Carried the ball 14 times for 26 yards against a tough Kentucky rush defense … also caught one pass for nine yards that went for a first down. Mississippi: rushed nine times for 40 yards as the Tide rolled up 200 yards rushing … hauled in one reception for nine yards … had one rush that converted a first down on a 10-yard scamper … also saw playing time on special teams. South Carolina: Gained 13 yards on five carries against the Gamecocks … also caught two passes for 11 yards … picked up first downs for the Tide with a 14-yard run and a nine-yard pass. Tennessee: Accounted for 18 yards on eight carries … had two rushes that resulted in first downs for the Crimson Tide … caught one pass for two yards. LSU: Carried the ball six times for 27 yards … averaged 4.5 yards per rush … broke free for a long rush of 11 yards against the Tigers, which was good for an Alabama first down. Mississippi State: Was explosive off the bench against the Bulldogs with 47 yards on 11 carries … broke free for an 18-yard run in the second quarter to set up an Alabama touchdown.Chattanooga: Found the end zone for the fifth time on a two-yard plunge in the first quarter … carried the ball nine times for 60 yards … picked up four first downs … caught one pass for three yards. Auburn: Saw his most extensive playing time to date with 15 carries for 51 yards and a two-yard touchdown run … also caught three passes for 31 yards, including a 17-yard reception on the Tide’s game-winning drive that converted a first down. Florida: Again proved to be a valuable weapon in the Crimson Tide’s offensive attack … rushed for 80 yards on 11 carries for a 7.27 yards per carry average against the nation’s No. 1 defense … broke free for a 25-yard run as the Tide clinched the SEC Championships with a 32-13 win. Texas: Came off the bench to gash the Longhorn defense for 109 yards rushing and two touchdowns while catching two passes for 19 yards … had four rushes and two receptions that converted first downs for the Tide in the 37-21 victory … galloped 49-yards untouched in the second quarter for the go-ahead score … teamed with Mark Ingram to become the first running back tandem to each rush for at least 100 yards in a game since Alabama’s 2004 season opener — a span of 77 games.
High School
Richardson came to the Capstone as one of the most highly sought after running back prospects in the country … a rare combination of size, speed and elusiveness … Parade All-American … Under Armour All-American … USA Today All-American … EA Sports First-Team All-American … SuperPrep All-American … consensus five-star recruit … Rivals.com ranks him as the No. 6 overall player in its Rivals100 while also listing him as the top player in the state of Florida and No. 2 running back in the country … ESPNU lists him as the country’s top-ranked running back and No. 6 in the ESPNU150 … Scout.com has him as the nation’s No. 2 running back and 13th overall player … SuperPrep magazine lists him at No. 25 on its Elite 50 list, as the No. 2 running back and the No. 5 recruit in Florida … is a first-team All-American by Tom Lemming’s Prep Football Report and the publication’s No. 19 overall player … Rivals.com also lists him as the country’s top insider runner, the No. 1 downhill runner and the No. 3 home run threat … the No. 4 player in The Mobile Press-Register Super Southeast 120 … member of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Super Southern 100 … top-ranked player in Florida by The Orlando Sentinel and named to the publications All-Southern team … Florida Athletic Coaches Association 5A Player of the Year and a finalist for Florida’s Mr. Football … Florida Sports Writers Association First-Team 5A All-State selection as a senior after being selected to the second team as a junior … rushed for 2,090 yards on 225 carries (9.3 ypc) and scored 26 touchdowns as a senior in 2008 for Escambia, including a single-game record of 419 yards … registered 1,490 on the ground with 15 touchdowns in just seven games as a junior … … timed at 10.5 in the 100 meters on the track … brother Terrell Richardson plays defensive end at Louisiana-Lafayette. … coached by Jimmy Nichols … chose Alabama over Florida, LSU, Florida State, and Tennessee.
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 Leave a comment