The Browns acted aggressively on draft day to shore up the RB position by trading up to snag a three down back that many experts believe is the best backfield prospect to enter the league since Adrian Peterson. Trent Richardson should have no problem in beating out the disappointing Montario Hardesty and joining fellow rookie Brandon Weeden as day one starters.
Jason and Justin Sablich of the 5th Down Blog say that Richardson will probably go off redraft boards in the third round of most leagues.
Todd Latzke of FFToolbox believes that Trent Richardson is set up for success for the long run and should be the first rookie off fantasy draft boards and that he will be a top 15 RB in 2012.
It’s hard to find anything but ultra high praise when it comes to Richardson but Eric Mack of SI does question how great he can be if he backed up Mark Ingram for two years.
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While the Browns will have a rookie QB, lack of talent at receiver, and two games a year against the Steelers and Ravens defense, you have to like the young man from a fantasy perspective. He is a three down back who won’t have to leave the field on third down and will factor into the passing game. The Browns are going to have to rely heavily on he running game and should approach a 50/50 run/pass split. As long as Richardson can stay healthy he should see 300 touches and be a mid to low end RB#2 right off the bat.
Richardson could fare even better if Brandon Weeden can play with maturity early on. The lack of passing game could allow defenses to key on Richardson and regardless of how talented the rookie is, eight NFL players in the box is too much to overcome. Greg Little has to solve his issues with drops and the Browns have to look to add more talent at the wide receiver position. The Browns ranked 23rd in yards per carry in 2011, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have a weak run blocking offensive line. As a unit he Browns offensive line ranked 2nd in stuff percentage and 13th in Power Success according to FootballOutsiders.com.