The Cleveland Browns wanted Trent Richardson and they traded up to make sure that happened.
The Browns chose the former University of Alabama running back with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft after trading with the Minnesota Vikings to move up from the No. 4 selection.
“When we went through this process, we knew that he was our guy, so we did what we had to do to secure it,” Browns coach Pat Shurmur said shortly after the pick was announced. “We had pretty good knowledge that there were teams behind us that wanted him as well, so we gave up a couple of picks to make sure we got him.”
During his collegiate career, Richardson ran for 3,130 yards and 35 touchdowns on 540 carries. He split time over his first two seasons with Heisman Trophy-winning running back Mark Ingram, who was taken by the New Orleans Saints in last April’s draft.
In 2011 -- his only season as Alabama’s feature back -- Richardson rushed for 1,679 yards and 21 touchdowns on 283 carries.
Richardson’s 1,679 yards and 21 touchdowns were Alabama single-season records. He tied former Alabama All-American Shaun Alexander for the school and league records with 24 total touchdowns in a single season.
“He’s passionate; he’s productive; he’s durable and he’s the kind of runner we think is going to help us put an offense together to score the points to win the games that we’re going to win,” Shurmur said. “We feel good about him. I just think he’s a terrific player and he’s going to be what we think is a really, really fine addition to the Cleveland Browns. I think he’s going to be one of those players that our fans and the community can watch run the ball for a lot of years. That’s what we’re excited about.”
During his press conference at the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine, Richardson expressed his desire to be considered an all-around back, one capable of staying on the field for any and all situations.
“When you put the draft together, you decide what your needs are and then, you decide how you like the players and you try to find a way to fill those needs,” Shurmur said. “We had a need at running back, we had the pick and we took the best player available at that position.”
He added, “Every player you bring from college, you have to project some, but I saw him play running back -- a physical style -- in an outstanding conference in the SEC (Southeastern Conference) and they won a lot of games. He helped that team win a national championship. In my mind, you saw what you needed to see to project he’s going to be an outstanding player in this league.”