Trent Richardson to buck trend Thursday night

And now, after a brief delay, today’s print story from the draft. I’m already in the New York metro area ready to bring you full coverage all day tomorrow. Stay tuned.

TUSCALOOSA — There’s certainly a risk when drafting a running back. Using a top-5 pick on one is largely frowned upon.

All signs point toward a shift in policy, however, with Trent Richardson on the scene. Alabama’s bowling ball of a running back is projected to go to Cleveland with the fourth pick of Thursday’s NFL draft.

The Heisman Trophy finalist hears the criticism of risking prime draft real estate on perishable goods. Running backs have the shortest career-expectancy (2.57 years) of any positional group in the NFL. The average player lasts 3.3 years, according to the league.

“I want to set the bar high and put us back on the map and show them that we’re very, very rare and that we need to be in the top 5, top 10,” Richardson said. “We need to be up there high. A lot of teams try to beat up on us a lot of times. When it comes down to it, I think they’re going to need us early in our career and we’re going to try to make it to our second contract and try to do stuff with it.”

In the last 10 drafts, of the first running backs taken, five were taken in the top 10. Richardson’s former Alabama teammate Mark Ingram was the first running back drafted last season when New Orleans tookhim 28th.

Alabama coach Nick Saban’s been on the other side of the draft several times. As the Dolphins head coach in 2005, he drafted Auburn’s Ronnie Brown second — the earliest a running back’s been taken since 1995 when the Bengals took Ki-Jana Carter No. 1.

Read more: Anniston Star – Richardson wants to make a name for running backs in the NFL draft.

Click here to read the full story.

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