Indianapolis Colts’ Trent Richardson is Vastly Overrated

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

I had him in fantasy last year, so yes, I know Trent Richardson is a fantasy stud. But as an actual running back, Richardson might be below average.

Last year, he averaged a measly 3.6 years a carry, and he was down to 3.4 this year. Those are not numbers that should happen for a first-round talent. Richardson’s problem is breaking big plays. Only 0.7 percent of his carries went for over 20 yards, and he has yet to run the ball for more than 10 yards this season for the Cleveland Browns.

Many will argue he did not have a great quarterback, but neither did Jamaal Charles, Adrian Peterson or C.J. Spiller, yet all of them put up great yards per carry stats. In the NFL, running the ball aids the pass, but rarely does having a solid quarterback really help the run.

Frankly, there are a lot of players who can average 3.5 yards a carry in the NFL. In fact, I guarantee Richardson’s replacement, Willis Mcgahee, will do so this season. In fact, McGahee averaged 4.4 yards a carry last season, a yard better than what Richardson is doing so far this year.

Why hold on to a player that can be so easily replaced? Sure, he had the potential to improve, but so does a first-round draft pick. A pick probably has more potential than Richardson because running backs do not have a steep learning curve (except with regards to pass blocking).

Richardson could certainly be useful with the Indianapolis Colts. They are desperate for a halfway decent running back, and Richardson is certainly that. The Colts will also use Richardson more in the passing game, something the Browns never liked to do, not because of Richardson, but because of their system.

Richardson is not a top talent, but he is an upgrade over Ahmad Bradshaw and Vick Ballard. However, those claiming that the  Browns made a terrible decision are failing to see what Richardson really is: vastly overrated.

Jay Cullen is a New York Giants writer for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter or add him on Google.

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Trent Richardson Trade Makes Financial Sense For Cleveland Browns


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  • Justin

    Browns had no line which is what makes a RB better, not a QB

    • Guest

      Hey Justin, thanks for the response. Many believe Cleveland has an about
      average line, as do it. Football Outsiders, for example ranked them
      10th here (http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/OL)

      Furthermore, Indy’s offensive line is atrocious, so I’m not sure Richardson will improve much

    • Jay Cullen

      Hey Justin, thanks for the response. Many believe Cleveland has an about
      average line, as do I. Football Outsiders, for example ranked them
      10th last year. (http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/OL)

      Furthermore, Indy’s offensive line is atrocious, so I’m not sure Richardson will improve much

  • Zack Schmidt

    I just dont see anything wrong with the way he runs the football. The argument against taking a running back early makes sense, but arguments against richardsons talent really dont hold water IMO. The dude runs people into the ground and most importantly wears a defense out. If you are a defense, who else do you have to key in on in the browns O? I mean honestly its not like anyone really feels threatened by Weedens receivers and a Q is only as good as the people who have to get open. I think the move was a good one for the browns as they pretended to be much further along in the building process than they really are. Shanny proves its the system, not the back that creates success.

    • Zack Schmidt

      And I call it a building process because rebuilding only applies to something that was actually once assembled. All of these early draft picks flaming out should show people that the browns brass is the problem. When you continuously cant get success from top 10 picks is more than coincidence at this point.