2012 NFL Draft: Are the Rams Better off Taking Blackmon or Richardson?

Clifton W. WilliamsContributor IIApril 23, 2012

Is this the best pick for the Rams?
Is this the best pick for the Rams?Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The St. Louis Rams probably will not get to make that choice in the 2012 NFL draft because Cleveland will decide for them. That is, unless the Browns take quarterback Ryan Tannehill or trade down. If that happens, the Rams will have a very interesting choice to make.

By now every expert has participated in several mock drafts. Thousands of words have been written about which team should end up with which player. If you look on this site alone, you will find all the information you need to decide for yourself who is the better player or would fill the biggest need—wide receiver Justin Blackmon or running back Trent Richardson.

I wanted to look at this choice from more of an historical perspective.

If you look at the first three rounds of every draft from 2000 through 2010, a few numbers stand out.


According to Pro-Football-Reference.com, during this period 84 running backs and 148 receivers were selected. This number makes sense because each team has to have at least two receivers and usually only one back on the field for each play.

If you add up all the Pro Bowls played by the running backs on this list the number is 41. The total for receivers? Only 47.

Fifteen of the 35 running backs selected in the first round made at least one Pro Bowl. Only 12 of the 45 receivers made one.

The numbers are even more unbalanced if you look at first team All-Pro selections. Running backs from this list make it 13 times and receivers only 10.

There were only four running backs taken in the first three rounds during that period who never played a game in the NFL. There were 13 wide receivers that never saw the field.


If you are wondering what the Rams did with their picks when they had the chance, it’s not pretty.

During this time, they spent four picks on running backs. One was Steven Jackson. Not bad. The other three were Trung Canidate, Lamar Gordon and Brian Leonard. Very Bad.

The wide receivers picked in the first three rounds during those 10 years were Donnie Avery( Round 2), Kevin Curtis and Eric Crouch (Round 3).

Maybe they should  just pick a punter.