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Saturday, April 21, 2012
Draft profile: RB Trent Richardson

By Rich Cimini

We continue our series of player profiles, focusing on possibilities with the 16th overall pick:

Player: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

Height/weight: 5-foot-9, 228 pounds

Scouts, Inc. ranking: Fourth

Draft projection: First round (fourth to sixth)

Scouting report: Why, you ask, are we profiling Richardson, who probably will be long gone by the 16th pick? Because, as we mentioned a few weeks ago, the Jets covet him. And when GM Mike Tannenbaum covets a player, he'll make every effort to get him. Many believe Richardson is the best running-back prospect since Adrian Peterson (2007). He's a complete package of power and speed. One NFC scout told me, "He's got vision, instincts and he's tough ... Great work ethic. And he can pass block, too." He'd add a different dimension to the Jets' plodding running game. Richardson average 5.9 yards per carry in his career. He rocked the SEC last season with 1,679 yards and a 5.9 average. Negatives? He has seven career fumbles (lost one) in 708 touches. Some believe his ultra-aggressive, physical running style could lead to durability issues later in his career.

Key stat: He set the Alabama record with 2,083 all-purpose yards last season, including 338 as a receiver and 66 as a kickoff returner.

Red flags: Richardson has a history of knee injuries. He missed the scouting combine to have a meniscus cartilage scoped, but he performed for scouts in late March, running 4.48 and 4.52 in the 40.

In his own words: "When it comes down to it, I’ll be the dude that’s on the field and getting the ball on third-and-3 or fourth-and-1. Not to be cocky or anything, but I work on my game every day and even if it’s not physical stuff, I work in the classroom, learning plays and learning the defensive line and what the linebackers and safeties are doing so I can pick up my blitzes. I love to block. Everybody knows I can run the ball. I’ve never been caught from behind, so if anyone wants to questions my speed, just look at the tape."