2012 NFL Draft : Is Alabama RB Trent Richardson The Real Target Of The Cleveland Browns At #4?

By Robert D. Cobb

CLEVELAND, OH –With the loss of running back Peyton Hillis to the Kansas City Chiefs in free agency, the biggest beneficiary may be two-time BCS national champion in Alabama running back Trent Richardson.

Richardson, a 5’11, 224-pound running back who would help lead the Alabama Crimson Tide to it’s 14th national title in a 21-0 win over LSU in the Allstate BCS National Championship Game in New Orleans, by rushing for 96 yards on 20 carries, may be the safest—and most logical pick for Cleveland in April.

With a backfield that consists of injury-prone Montario Hardesty, Brandon Jackson and third-down back Chris Ogbonnaya, the Browns are clearly in need of a playmaker in the mold of Richardson, who is deadly in both the running and passing game.

Richardson would rush for 1,679 yards on 283 carries and 21 touchdowns. Richardson would also catch 29 passes for 338 yards for three touchdowns receiving.

During his career down is Tuscaloosa, Richardson would rush for 3,130 yards on 540 carries and 35 touchdowns. Richardson would also catch 68 passes for 730 yards and seven touchdowns while playing a key part—alongside Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram—in the Crimson Tide’s BCS title teams in 2009 and 2011

Depending on what the Browns do in the 2012 NFL Draft, Richardson could become the home-run hitter and safety valve that both quarterback Colt McCoy and the Cleveland offense desperately needs.

Powerful, fast and with good hands, Richardson has all the tools to be the perfect fit in Cleveland’s West Coast offense, and as the top-ranked running back prospect, the Browns have a golden opportunity to make up for passing on former Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson for Wisconsin left tackle, Joe Thomas.

The loss of Hillis to the Chiefs and uncertainty of both Hardesty and Jackson makes the Browns selection of Richardson not only wise, but a forgone conclusion.

Follow me on Twitter, @RobertCobb_76

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