Trent Richardson is not only the clear-cut best running back in the draft, he may be the best player in the draft altogether. Considering that Andrew Luck and RGIII are in the same class, to be considered the best player is quite a statement.
Richardson's true value comes from his ability to handle a heavy workload and be the engine of an offense, but that is not to say that he just grinds out yards. Richardson has deceptive speed and agility for such a thickly-built man, resulting in a handful of spectacular runs during his career at Alabama.
Here are the top plays from Trent Richardson's decorated college career.
The initial blocking on this run is very good, but Richardson's ability turns a well-blocked, 15-yard run into a near 60-yard gain.
He is literally throwing defenders into each other with one arm before breaking free into the open field.
The most impressive part of this run is how he is able to get to top speed immediately after throwing defenders off his body, and run stride for stride with defensive backs. The only reason Richardson goes down is because the safety used a proper angle to prevent a touchdown.
If Richardson won the Heisman this year, this run would have been a big reason why.
This may be my favorite run of the entire 2011 football season, including the NFL.
Richardson is immediately met by a blitzing defender, which would spell doom for just about any ordinary running back.
Trent Richardson is not an ordinary running back.
He immediately recognizes the situation and changes direction on a dime, making No. 21 grab nothing but air. He then hits full speed in an instant, outrunning defensive backs to about the 17-yard line. The amount of explosion on display is simply unreal for a man of his size.
Our friend No. 21 is now back for more, and Richardson only makes his Monday morning film session more embarrassing. Trent does a stop-and-go move that leaves the defender literally stumbling around like a drunk man. From there, Richardson explodes into the end zone, dragging defenders with him.
Richardson flashed big-time ability as early as his freshman year.
The Razorbacks actually get some nice penetration on this play, but Richardson just runs right through it.
After bouncing off of several linebackers and defensive linemen, he explodes and hits top speed immediately, outrunning the entire Arkansas defense to one of the first big-time plays of his career.
It would be easy to blame poor tackling on this play, but after watching three years of Richardson making defenders look foolish, this play probably had just as much to do with his ability as it does with Arkansas' ineptitude.
Not much to this one. Richardson just explodes through the hole and outruns the entire Longhorns defense to the house.
Making such a big run on college football's biggest stage put Richardson's ability right in front of the entire nation, while ensuring Alabama fans that things would be just fine without Mark Ingram in the backfield.
Richardson is far too valuable to waste on special teams at the NFL level, but that is not to say he can't do it.
For anyone who says that he does not have top-end speed, watch this return. He hits another gear and seems to be in slow motion relative to everyone in blue.
Note: If you listen to the audio, the radio call will give you a chuckle.
This is not a run, and T-Rich is not even wearing any pads. But Richardson takes pride in being a complete back, and that is certainly on display in pass-blocking drills during Alabama's pro day.
To the delight of his peers, a scout is leveled by Richardson. What is most impressive is that he is not getting any kind of running start; what you see is pure strength and explosion.
Unfortunately for the scout, he is going to be on the butt end of water-cooler jokes for quite some time.
In what would be the last and perhaps most important run of his decorated career at Alabama, Richardson sealed the BCS title for the Tide with this brilliant fourth-quarter dash.
T-Rich showed incredible lateral agility and explosion to get to the edge. From there, he was able to get to his top speed in an instant and outrun the entire LSU defense.
For such a special player, there would have been no better way to end his career as a member of the Crimson Tide.