While rushing for 950 yards and 11 touchdowns as a rookie last year, Cleveland Browns running back
“It’s an honor just be named with these guys that made the Top 100,” Richardson told NFL Network. “To be 71 is something. I looked at the list yesterday and was ahead of some guys that I thought should be ranked pretty high.
“It’s a challenge, and it’s a team goal for me at the same time. I couldn’t do it without my offensive line, the coaching, the play-calling. Even though I was kind of banged up, they still made it happen for me.”
Richardson said he looked at the list after being named to it, and was surprised to see who placed behind him.
“You look at guys like Percy Harvin,” Richardson said. “He’s one of the best skill players out there. I understand that he was hurt last year. Even Anquan Boldin, the year he had last year was crazy. You look at guys like that and say, ‘Man, I can’t believe I’m in front of this guy.’ It’s still a blessing. To be one of the rookies that’s on the list, I’m happy.”
Richardson broke six team rookie records in 2012, including most rushing yards, most rushing touchdowns, total touchdowns (12), points scored (72), rushing attempts (267), and total yards from scrimmage (1,317). He also rushed for 100 or more yards in three games, which equaled William Green’s total from 2002.
Richardson’s accomplishments came despite the fact he missed most of training camp and all of the preseason while recovering from knee surgery. He also battled through a rib injury suffered in the team’s 34-24 win against Cincinnati in Week Six.
“When I’m actually healthy and with the team helping me, I think I can go pretty high,” Richardson said. “That’s nothing I embark on or say I’m bragging about. I just know me and I know what my team is going to bring to the table this year. This time next year, y’all should be seeing me at a much lower number when it comes to the Top 100 players. It’s always an honor. I’m happy to be among this list and happy to be a spokesman for my team to be in the Top 100.”
Richardson was one of seven rookies on the 2013 list, joining Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly (No. 79) as those already named. In addition to quarterbacks Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck, Richardson expects a former high school rival, who rushed for a rookie-leading 1,613 yards and 13 touchdowns for the Washington Redskins, to be on the list.
“No doubt in my mind, it’s got to be Alfred Morris,” Richardson said. “That dude ran hard last year. He played great ball and was a big change in the lot of the games that they had. He kept them in the games, and they went to him a lot last year. The way that dude runs, it’s amazing.”