Another day, another mock draft. This time ESPN's Mel Kiper rolls in with his first mock draft of the season(Insider). In it, he has the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select running back Trent Richardson despite the fact that Morris Claiborne was still on the board. I'll let him explain.
Don't simply dismiss the idea that Richardson could land here because of the presence of LaGarrette Blount. For one, we know that if you want a potent running game in the NFL, it can't be built simply around one running back. The reality of injuries is too much of a constant to overlook. Secondly, are the Bucs ready to commit to a longer deal with Blount after the 2012 season? Bottom line, the idea can't be dismissed from a team-building standpoint, and that's before you get to what kind of a player Richardson is. A physical freak, he is extraordinarily powerful, explodes from contact, has lower mileage than many third-year studs because he split carries as a freshman and sophomore with Mark Ingram and has developed as a pass-catcher. Richardson is a first-year impact player.
It's interesting that he mentions frequent injuries to running back as a reason to select Richardson. To me, that's a reason to stay away from investing valuable, high picks in a running back.