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Trent Richardson may be the most anticipated prospect the Cleveland Browns have drafted since their return to the NFL in 1999. Richardson has elite size and speed and has been compared to some of the best running backs the NFL has to offer.
Richardson was a two-time BCS National Championship winner and scored 21 touchdowns during Alabama's championship run in 2011.
Cleveland has lacked a dynamic running back throughout much of its modern history and many football experts realize the benefits that a dynamic rusher can bring to a struggling offense. The Browns are clearly planning to use Richardson as a three-down back and will likely give him 20-25 carries a game in what some are calling a "run heavy west-coast offense".
There will be a lot of emphasis on the running back position for the Browns this season especially with the uncertainty that surrounds the quarterback position moving forward. NFL experts anticipate defenses to put as many men in the box as possible and attempt to take Richardson out of the game plan early.
Strong defensive teams like the Steelers, Bengals, and Ravens know how to frustrate young offenses and Richardson will be key to the Browns having any sort of success in 2012.
Running in the AFC North is not an easy task for any back, but Richardson competed against some of the best defensive players in college football over the course of his career and put up some very strong numbers.
Cleveland has not had success against these AFC North opponents in recent seasons and will need an offensive spark from a player like Richardson if they hope to turn those misfortunes around.