STACK followed dozens of the NFL’s top prospects as they hit the gym to get ready for the NFL Combine and beyond. In our Path to the Pros video series, we show you how these world-class athletes trained for the next level. With the first round in the books, we feature the third overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, Alabama’s All-American running back Trent Richardson.
Serviceable NFL running backs are a dime a dozen. They can be found in later rounds of the Draft and used as complementary pieces for a running back-by-committee rushing attack.
It’s the elite, every-down feature back who comes at a premium in the NFL Draft. These are face-of-the-franchise players, offensive weapons who stamp their identity on an offense for many years.
Trent Richardson is a face-of-the-franchise caliber player, and the Cleveland Browns didn’t hesitate to trade up to the number three spot to draft their potential superstar back, who many experts argue is the most pro-ready prospect of this class, even ahead of top picks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III.
“I have high expectations for myself,” Richardson told us in advance of his Pro Day. “I want to go out there and shock the world and show everybody that I was working hard all season, and I am who they say I am.”
They say Richardson is the best running back prospect since Adrian Peterson, who was selected seventh overall by the Minnesota Vikings in 2007. Ironically, Cleveland passed on the opportunity to select Peterson that year, and the Browns have been without a marquee back since their return to the NFL in 1999.
The Browns—who were knocked off their feet (literally) by Richardson at his Pro Day—certainly hit a home run with him this time around.