Saturday, February 25, 2012
Richardson misses chance to impress teams
By Bill Williamson
INDIANAPOLIS – Alabama star running back Trent Richardson is the premier player at the NFL combine at his position.
However, Richardson is unable to show NFL teams he is ready to be the league’s next great back. Richardson had minor knee surgery after suffering an injury in January. He is not participating in drills at the combine. He will have his pro day late in March where he is expected to be fully healed.
While many top prospects don’t do much at the combine, Richardson is upset he is not getting the chance to showcase his skills in Indy.
“I’m very disappointed I can’t do the stuff here that everybody else can do,” Richardson said. “In college, it irked my nerves when I heard guys say they don’t want to this and that at the combine. That’s something that you dream of and want to do your whole life and being a college football player and a competitor, I always wanted to come to this and show all my skills. That’s what the top guys do.”
If you listen to several league observers, expect the Kansas City Chiefs to have keen interest in Richardson’s workout. Many mock drafts have the Chiefs taking Richardson at No. 11.
In my mind, there are a lot of obstacles in the way of that intriguing pairing. The biggest issue is Richardson’s availability. There is a chance Richardson could go as high as No. 5 to Tampa Bay. If Richardson does drop to No. 11, the Chiefs would have to decide if they want to bypass needs at tackle and linebacker to take Richardson.
Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli said Friday that the Chiefs will look at running backs in the draft and in free agency. Starter Jamaal Charles is expected to be ready for training camp after suffering a torn ACL in his knee in September. Kansas City running backs Jackie Battle and Thomas Jones are free agents, so the position is a need area.
If the Chiefs don’t pursue a running back — New England’s BenJarvus Green-Ellis and San Diego’s Mike Tolbert could be possibilities — in free agency, Richardson could be a target.
The blunt Richardson said he is ready to make an impact in the NFL.
“When it comes down to it, I’ll be the dude that’s on the field and getting the ball on third and three or fourth and one,” Richardson said. “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. When it comes to playing football, any game you want to just look at it a try to find a negative.”
That could turn out to be a positive in Kansas City.