RB Theorem | Rookie Stunner Series: Trent Richardson

This is a real article. I do realize the name Trent Richardson is a punchline nowadays. Before he was missing wide open holes, he had potential. His rookie season wasn’t the best. However, what fosters can also cultivate for fertile growth. No one could predict how brief his NFL venture would eventually be. For more in this series or more RB Theorem, click here.

Trent Richardson | Rookie Numbers – 267/950/11 | 3.6 YPA/63.3 YPG/17.8 APG | 51 rec 367 yards 1 TD in 15 games

After a couple of respectable seasons at Alabama T-Rich exploded as a starter. It was his junior season where he led the SEC in rushing attempts, rushing yards, yards from scrimmage and total TDs. Richardson eventually won Offensive Player of the Year honors for the conference. He also named as a First Team All-American. Still, the Crimson Tide star had his doubters. Many were skeptical because the Alabama scheme is notorious for producing statistical marvels. Many of which struggle to find consistent NFL careers.

The Cleveland Browns believed enough in Richardson to draft him with the 3rd overall pick in 2012. He was selected after Andrew Luck (Colts) and Robert Griffin III (Redskins) were taken with the first two picks. Doug Martin (31st overall to the Bucs) and David Wilson (32nd overall the Giants) were also taken in the 1st round. Of the 20 RBs that were drafted that season only four remain on active NFL rosters in 2018 (Martin, Lamar Miller 4th round to the Dolphins, Robert Turbin 4th round to the Seahawks and Alfred Morris 6th round to the Redskins).

Richardson just missed rushing for 1,000 yards as a rookie. Had he played in all 16 games the feat would have likely been accomplished considering his average of 63.3 rushing yards per game. His 12 total TDs rocked the fantasy world with anticipatory glee. Chipping in with 51 receptions (he had 68 in 38 collegiate games) for an additional 367 yards sent him charging past my 1,200 scrimmage yards threshold.

If you dive open-mindedly into Richardson’s rookie game logs what do you see? Would you expect a 5-11 team to give their RB1 267 rushing attempts? Sure he was a high draft pick, but that is a lot. Also, remember he missed one game.

Richardson’s 3.5 YPA was subpar, even considering he was over 250 attempts. As for the rest of the log, there are a couple of stinker games contained within. It would be hard to not be encouraged by his usage (especially in the passing game) and the touch security in general.

Now try to remember you do not know what happened after his rookie season. How would you view him moving forward based solely on those rookie numbers? Some people might have been encouraged enough to trade for him or even make him a first-round dynasty startup pick!

Year TwoIn a somewhat shocking move, Richardson was traded to Colts. The move happened just two games into his second NFL season. The Browns had seen enough. Ironically, Richardson’s lack of vision is what led to his untimely NFL demise. His already suspect YPA dropped to 2.99. He had only one game where he averaged 4.0 YPA, and he scored only four total TDs.

The Colts gave Richardson one more season to prove his worth as an asset to their on-the-field product. The result was more of the same. Piss-poor to below average mediocrity. A slight uptick in YPA to 3.3 was not nearly enough. The Colts released their lame specimen after just 29 games and 977 yards.

To say Richardson floundered from that point is a mighty understatement. He had auditions with the Oakland Raiders and Baltimore. A battle with pneumonia meant he barely got suited up for Oakland. He was released before the 2015 season. He signed with Baltimore in April of 2016, and he was cut in early August of the same year.

Following his too short NFL Career TRich appeared in four games for the Saskatchewan Roughriders the Canadian Football League. He averaged 64.7 YPG before an ankle injury ended his 2017 season.

In 2018 Richardson is rumored to be a part of the Birmingham Iron. The organization is in the Alliance of American Football, which is an upstart league that is set to begin games in February 2019.


I am searching for the meaning of every bump on the pigskin. From leather helmets to a league with no point after attempts, I am researching with a wide shovel. -married/father/music fan/Raider Nation baby/deli meat enthusiast/three-cone extremist

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