Alabama star running back Trent Richardson probably wasn't on the New York Jets' radar after the college football season. Richardson cemented his status as the nation's best tailback after rushing for 96 yards and a touchdown in a physical win over LSU in the BCS National Championship Game.
Richardson seemed to be a lock for a top-10 pick after that game. But recent news of Richardson's knee surgery and missing the combine workouts may give the Jets newfound hope at No. 16.
The procedure isn't major. But anytime the words "knee surgery" come up months before the draft, especially for a running back, some teams get scared away. The Jets wouldn't be one of those teams. They would love to pair Richardson with Shonn Greene in their ground-and-pound offense.
But it still seems unlikely Richardson will fall that far in the first round. In terms of talent, he's a top-five pick. But the position he plays and the knee injury should land Richardson in the top 10 or 12 picks.
If the Jets aren't fortunate with Richardson, they still have plenty of needs to fill, such as at safety, right tackle and wide receiver.