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Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama: Does He Fit in Dallas Cowboys' Draft Plans?

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 09:  Trent Richardson #3 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Louisiana State University Tigers during the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 9, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Jonathan BalesAnalyst IApril 3, 2012

In addition to the scouting reports I do at the NY Times, I will also have a few articles posted at RotoExperts.com prior to the draft.  These will deal primarily with skill position players who will have an impact in fantasy football, and my first is on Alabama running back Trent Richardson.  Check it out here.

Trent Richardson is the cream of the crop in the 2012 running back class, offering a unique combination of quickness, agility and power. I watched five complete games of Richardson’s, and what stood out most is his consistency. He doesn’t miss holes, he doesn’t dance in the backfield, and he doesn’t drop passes. Richardson’s versatility and track record makes him one of the safest picks in the 2012 Draft.

In the game against Florida, you can see an example of Richardson’s skill set at the 3:48 mark. He combines quick-twitch ability with elusiveness and power to make plays like this all the time. He’s consistently pushing the pile forward and has a knack for contorting his body to avoid contact, maintaining his balance better than any back I’ve studied in the last few years.

I have yet to post my running back rankings, but Richardson will obviously be at the top of that board.  Richardson’s only knock is his long speed and other backs probably have more home run ability (David Wilson of V-Tech comes to mind), but Richardson is by far the most complete back in this draft.  He can run, catch and block.  He’s a true three-down running back.

That’s not to say he’s an option for the Cowboys, of course.  Richardson figures to be gone by the sixth pick in the draft.  Even if he falls past St. Louis, someone will move up for the workhorse prior to the Cowboys’ 14th selection.  Those fans (and even media) who are screaming for the Cowboys to move up for Richardson—dream on.

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