2012 Phinsider Community NFL Mock Draft - Pick 4, Cleveland Browns

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It's time to turn to the Cleveland Browns with the fourth overall pick in the Phinsider Community NFL Mock Draft. And, a lot hinges on this pick. Do the Browns give up on Colt McCoy and look to grab Ryan Tannehill? Do they try to find a replacement for Peyton Hillis? Does Cleveland try to grab a wide receiver to bolster the weapons for McCoy? Do they go a completely different direction? It's really with this pick that the draft takes on its ultimate shape.

A recap of the previous picks:

Pick Team Player
1 Indianapolis Colts Andrew Luck, QB
2 Washington Redskins Robert Griffin III, QB
3 Minnesota Vikings Matt Kalil, T

Now, let's look at the Browns before their pick:

Team: Cleveland Browns
GM: 1977 Blazer fan

And the pick is in. Let's go to the Commissioner, who is approaching the podium.

With the fourth overall pick, the Cleveland Browns select:

Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama Crimson Tide
Height: 5' 9", Weight: 228

From Walter Football:

Projected Round (2012): Top-20 Pick.
3/12/12: Richardson was unable to work out for scouts at the NFL Scouting Combine or Alabama's pro day as he recovers from knee surgery. It was said to be a minor procedure. Richardson is planning on working out for NFL evaluators by the end of March. If he is unable to at that time, alarm bells will start going off about his knee. The devaluing of the running back position is already working against him being a high draft pick.

In 2011, Richardson had a massive season and was one of the best players in college football. With a string of dominant performances in conference play, he proved to be the best running back in the nation. Richardson produced 24 total touchdowns (21 rushing, three receiving). He ran for 1,679 yards while averaging 5.9 yards per carry. Richardson also caught 29 passes for 338 yards.

In Alabama's two games against LSU, the junior played well. During the regular season, Richardson ran the ball 23 times for 89 yards and caught five passes for 80 yards against the Tigers. In the rematch, he ran for 96 yards on 20 carries with a touchdown. Richardson produced even with LSU's talented defense focused on stopping him. He dominated Florida, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Mississippi State among others.

For the NFL, Richardson looks like a three-down back. He is a good receiver out of the backfield who has the skill set to develop into a quality blitz protector. Richardson has an elite combination of strength and speed. He gets yards after contact from his strength, and is fast enough to break off long touchdowns on a carry or reception. Some believe that Richardson is the best running back prospect since Adrian Peterson.

8/18/11: Trent Richardson is considered by some to be a better pro prospect than former teammate Mark Ingram. The reason is Richardson has a fabulous make-up of size and speed. Last year, he ran for 700 yards on 112 carries with six scores. As a freshman, Richardson ran for 749 yards and eight touchdowns. He has been used as a receiver out of the backfield with 23 receptions last year after 16 catches in 2009. Richardson has the ability to run through linebackers and to run away from defensive backs. Many consider him a favorite for the Heisman trophy and it wouldn't be surprising if Richardson has a massive 2011 season.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are on the clock.

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