trichbust

Trent Richardson could be the last back we ever see picked early in the NFL draft

We all know Trent Richardson has been embarrassingly bad this season, but the Indianapolis Colts continue to insist that they're happy with their decision to trade a first-round pick for Richardson earlier this year. 

That's not surprising, because…well, what would you expect them to say at this junction? Richardson is still on the roster and they can't admit defeat this early. 

But when you look at the numbers, it's hard to believe Chuck Pagano, Ryan Grigson and co. on that. 

This season, Richardson and Maurice Jones-Drew are the league's only two backs with over 125 carries but fewer than 3.0 yards per attempt. He's scored just two touchdowns on 146 touches and has zero runs of 20 yards or more — something 85 offensive players have done at least once this season. 

Buried in the Jaguars' completely inept offense, Jones-Drew has still managed to score four touchdowns, but his longest run is only 17 yards. However, that's still longer than Richardson's season-high of 16. 

It's hard to imagine that he was the third overall pick in the NFL draft less than 19 months ago. Among backs with at least 300 attempts since the start of last season, Richardson and Darren McFadden are tied for dead last in the league with 3.37 yards per carry. 

Will Richardson be the bust that broke the camel's back as far as first-round running backs go? None were taken in the first round this past year for the first time ever, and that could again be the case in 2014. Three backs were taken in the top five in 2005 but only three have been taken in that range in the nine drafts since then. 

Running backs are just too easy to find and not valuable enough to merit being early picks anymore, and nobody wants to take the next Trent Richardson. 

Brad Gagnon

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at theScore.com (covering Super Bowls XLIV, XLV and XLVI), a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at Deadspin, FoxSports.com, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Bloguin, but his day gig has him covering all things NFC East for Bleacher Report.

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