The Richardson vs Claiborne debate rages on, and now some well-known draftniks are starting to weigh in as well. In this case, both Todd McShay of ESPN and Nolan Nawrocki of Pro Football Weekly and their massively annoying autoplaying videos gave their view on the debate.
Todd McShay in an option-based mock draft:
Scenario 1: Richardson would be the pick if available. The Bucs have LeGarrette Blount, but he has had durability and fumbling issues, and Richardson is the most complete back to enter the draft since Adrian Peterson.
Scenario 2: Claiborne is also one of the five elite prospects in this year's class, and his quickness, fluid hips and ball skills would solidify a secondary that faces questions about Ronde Barber (age) and Aqib Talib (off-field issues). Either way, Tampa Bay gets a top player in a major need area.
Nolan Nawrocki gave his opinion in a Q&A, where a Bucs fan apparently snuck in:
Q: With the fifth pick, the Buccaneers may have a choice between RB Trent Richardson and CB Morris Claiborne. What is your thought on selecting a running back vs. a cornerback that high in the draft?
Nawrocki: Strictly from a contract perspective, it makes more sense to go with a cornerback. (Corners) are paid much better than running backs in today's game, and they are much more difficult to find, in general. I think the running back class this year is much deeper than the cornerback class, and you can find a good running back in the later rounds. That said, I do think Trent Richardson is a rare talent. I think he's going to come in from Day One and make an immediate impact, whereas with Morris Claiborne, as talented as he is, it could take him a little bit longer to transition to the NFL game. He is a converted receiver - it did take him a little bit of time at LSU to grow into the position - and I think his learning curve could be a little greater. So, if you're looking for immediate impact, I think there's a good chance Richardson is going to be this season's Rookie of the Year for whichever team drafts him; he's that kind of a player. But in the long haul, I think you'd rather have a premium cornerback with the No. 5 pick