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Last season, I was very high on Mark Ingram, and I didn't think I'd see another running back I'd like as much for at least a few seasons.
I was wrong.
Trent Richardson, in my opinion, is the best running back prospect since Herschel Walker, and he has the potential to enjoy a better professional career.
His balance is uncanny, and he's never driven backward, even when he's caught off-guard during a cut. Of course, that makes sense considering he never fails to run with excellent pad level, whether he's changing directions or bursting through the hole with elite explosiveness. He breaks tackles like a ram on acid, and his powerful lower body makes him nearly impossible to bring down even when defenders get a clear shot.
His core strength is as good as any running back's in the past 20 years, and there's never a time when he wastes motion or decelerates to change directions. He's a bruiser inside, but also possesses the vision and lateral quickness to avoid direct contact through the line. As a receiver, he's underrated, possessing soft hands and adequate zone awareness, and he never shies away from contact as a blocker in the backfield.
Speed seems to be a question with some evaluators, but he's plenty fast enough to run away from defenders once he's in the open field, and he reaches top speed in a hurry. Defenders are often lulled to sleep by his workhorse ways just in time to fall to the ground as he shocks them with his lateral mobility and sneaky-quick cuts.
Running backs have had a hard earning lofty draft spots in recent years, but Richardson should have no trouble reversing that trend.