With the third overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns selected Alabama running back Trent Richardson third overall.
Both the team and the fans hoped that the selection of Richardson would be the second coming of Hall of Fame Brown’s icon Jim Brown. However, his semi-lackluster performance has resembled a William Green-like performance which is calling into question the selection of Richardson so high.
Richardson has undoubtedly shown flashes of brilliance on the field, but having endured through a nicked-up 2012 season did not fulfill the promise that the team had hoped for from the young workhorse.
With his knee issues, lingering rib injury, and now strained hamstring, has once again brought into question Richardson’s ability to make it through a punishing NFL 16-game schedule. The last running back selected by the Browns in the first round Green out of Boston College. Green was taken 16th overall by Cleveland in the 2002 NFL draft.
Unfortunately, Green never achieved the type of success that the team had hoped for posting only 2,109 in four seasons with the team.
The question facing Cleveland now is simple. Is Richardson going down that same path that Green did?
Other Alabama running backs selected high of recent such as Mark Ingram in New Orleans. Ingram has yet to post a 700 yard season for the Saints bringing up the question of durability of backs coming from the pro-style Alabama offense.
But Richardson has shown ability that both Green and Ingram have not, and that is the ability to play hard regardless of injury, and also a work ethic unparalleled by most players in the NFL.
The 2013 season will be big for Richardson. Will the words uttered by Brown be right? Is there nothing special about Richardson?
Or will the Browns back show the league he deserves to be one of the top rated backs in the league. Only time will tell.