Tonight is the first round of the NFL draft. The Browns made a bit of a splash by swapping first round picks with the Minnesota Vikings — and giving the Vikings three later round picks, to boot — and then drafting Trent Richardson of Alabama.
Every Browns fan knows the team is cursed and can expect only miserable failure come draft day. Against that backdrop of complete and utter pessimism, I have to say that . . . I think Richardson is a good pick.
Richardson was a mainstay in the Alabama attack last year. He gained 1679 yards on the ground in 2011, averaging 5.9 yards a carry, and caught 29 passes for another 338 yards. He scored 24 touchdowns and showed the ability to make big plays with long runs and pass plays. Equally important, he played well in the big games, including running the ball effectively against the tough LSU defense in the BCS championship game.
The Browns need offensive punch — their offense somehow managed to both suck and blow last year — and Richardson looks like someone who can make the defensive coordinators on opposing teams sweat a little. Now, if only the Browns can find another playmaker (a speedy wide receiver would be nice) and somebody to block, they’ll have taken their first, tentative steps toward respectability.
In the meantime, I suggest that Richardson promptly identify and buy the largest insurance policy he can get his hands on, and keep his eye out for falling anvils.