2012 NFL Mock Draft: Why Colts Must Take Trent Richardson

Michael DixonAnalyst IIINovember 3, 2011

TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 22:  Trent Richardson #3 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates his touchdown against the Tennessee Volunteers with Darius Hanks #15 at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 22, 2011 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The No. 1 pick in April's NFL draft will be Andrew Luck. Of course, that makes a bit of an assumption that he'll come out. But assuming he does come out, the Stanford quarterback will go No. 1.

But who gets Luck, and what happens after he goes?

Well, the Dolphins and Colts are each winless, and the Cardinals and Rams each have one win. Given the way the rest of the schedule sets up, I have the Dolphins getting the No. 1 pick. But even if the Colts get it, they should look to fill another hole, at running back.

This isn't backtracking, but the Colts should take Luck if a few things happen. One is that they need to get that No. 1 pick. Two is that Peyton Manning is not on their roster in 2012. If that happens, then they should go for Luck. 

If neither of those happen, then they should get themselves into a position to take Alabama's Trent Richardson

In my mock below, you'll notice that I have Richardson going to the Colts at No. 2. That's not too much of a reach, but they could probably trade down a few picks to get him. I don't like to forecast potential trades, but that's probably not the worst road for the Colts to go down. 

I certainly understand some fears about taking a running back that early in the first round. Running backs' careers are so short, and there are so few true featured backs. Still, when one of those guys becomes available, you don't want to pass on him.

Richardson is that guy. He's got freakish athletic ability and a great work ethic. The Colts' running back by committee has just not done a good job for them. Their record speaks for itself. You don't have that kind of record if you have any sort of a running game. 

Even if the Colts are in a position to get Luck, they shouldn't do it unless Manning is done as a Colt. He would wasted on the bench behind Manning.

If the Colts are really looking for a project to replace Manning, they should trade down to get Matt Barkley from USC or even draft someone in the later rounds. 

Richardson is the kind of back to step in and make an immediate impact. When you get that kind of chance, you don't necessarily want to waste it because you're worried about longevity. He's a featured back at Alabama and will be one again in the NFL. The Colts' rushing attack is not good enough to pass up on a guy like that.

2012 Mock Draft: First Round

1. Miami Dolphins Andrew Luck QB-Stanford
2. St. Louis Rams Morris Claiborne CB-LSU
3. Indianapolis Colts Trent Richardson RB-Alabama
4. Minnesota Vikings Alshon Jeffery WR-South Carolina
5. Arizona Cardinals Matt Kalil OT-USC
6. Jacksonville Jaguars Justin Blackmon WR-Oklahoma State
7. Denver Broncos Vontaze Burfict ILB-Arizona State
8. Seattle Seahawks Landry Jones QB-Oklahoma
9. Carolina Panthers Quinton Coples DE-North Carolina
10. Cleveland Browns Luke Kuechly ILB-Boston College
11. Tennessee Titans Dre Kirkpatrick CB-Alabama
12. Philadelphia Eagles Jonathan Martin OT-Stanford
13. Kansas City Chiefs Matt Barkley QB-USC
14. Washington Redskins Dontari Poe DT-Memphis
15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Michael Floyd WR-Notre Dame
16. Dallas Cowboys David DeCastro OG-Stanford
17. Cincinnati Bengals (via OAK) Janoris Jenkins CB-North Alabama
18. Chicago Bears Riley Reiff OT-Iowa
19. New York Jets LaMar Miller RB-Miami
20. Cincinnati Bengals Brandon Thompson DT-Clemson
21. San Diego Chargers Zach Brown OLB-North Carolina
22. Cleveland Browns (via ATL) Melvin Ingram DE-South Carolina
23. Houston Texans Nick Toon WR-Wisconsin
24. Detroit Lions Manti Te'o ILB-Notre Dame
25. New York Giants Mark Barron S-Alabama
26. Buffalo Bills Jerel Worthy DT-Michigan State
27. Pittsburgh Steelers Mike Adams OT-Ohio State
28. New England Patriots (via NO) Jared Crick DT-Nebraska
29. San Francisco 49ers Ryan Broyles WR-Oklahoma
30. Baltimore Ravens Alfonzo Dennard CB-Nebraska
31. New England Patriots Jonathan Massaquoi OLB-Troy
32. Green Bay Packers Markelle Martin S-Oklahoma State

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