Browns trade Richardson to Colts
You don’t often see in-season blockbuster trades. Today we got one. Trent Richardson, the third overall pick in the 2012 draft, has been traded to the Colts for a first round pick. It means Indianapolis now owns the #1 (Andrew Luck) and #3 (Richardson) picks in what was considered a top-heavy draft.
Browns fans seem a little shell shocked by the news. Richardson was a stud at Alabama but it just didn’t work out in Cleveland. It’s funny, just yesterday I was thinking about Richardson’s time in Cleveland. He’s talented, no doubt about it. But it’s a wretched fit playing under Rob Chudzinski and Norv Turner. He’s a downfield runner and needs to play on a team that really values that pounding, physical style.
Originally when he was drafted by Cleveland, I think that’s what they were planning to do. And that style of running game has worked a treat in the AFC North for so long. But under the current regime, it seemed like a bad fit.
Credit the Browns for accepting the situation, taking a first round pick from Indy and just moving on. This may be one of those situations that works out best for all concerned. Cleveland, at 0-2, are in the process a major rebuild. Or at least they should be. They’re starting Brian Hoyer at quarterback this week after all.
In the 2014 draft they have to bring in a quarterback — and now they have options. If they need to move up, they have the stock to do so. If they don’t need to move up, they can launch their rebuild with two new first round picks.
The Colts meanwhile are looking to win now. They’ve just lost Vic Ballard to injury. They utilise a power running game. Now they have a potential superstar to help Andrew Luck and propel that offense.
It’s a hefty price — we’re seeing fewer and fewer running backs taken with first round picks. But Richardson is only a year removed from being the #3 overall pick.
For me, this looks like a good deal all round. The new regime in Cleveland has to pretty much start from scratch. The Holmgren era was a total failure. Harsh but true.
Richardson could make his debut against the 49ers this weekend. More importantly, he’ll likely face Seattle in week five.
Marqise Lee needs to be careful
USC look like a team waiting for the inevitable to happen. Lane Kiffin is unpopular. It’ll take more than a comprehensive win over Boston College to save his job.
On offense the quarterback situation just seems bizarre. Cody Kessler and Max Wittek started the year sharing snaps. Kessler got the bulk against BC. Neither has looked capable of replacing Matt Barkley long term.
The mess at quarterback has, predictably, had an impact on the receivers. In particular, it’s hampered the immensely talented Marqise Lee. Last years Biletnikoff winner is one of the most naturally gifted players — at any position — in college football. He’s not a physical freak with size and speed that’s off the charts. He’s just a tremendous football player.
And yet he’s been incredibly inconsistent to start the year.
I’ve posted his tape vs Hawaii at the top of this page, where you can see for yourself mistakes we don’t usually associate with Lee. The following week he had seven catches for 27 yards against Washington State. Then against Boston College — two grabs for 90 yards including an 80-yard score.
The quarterback situation isn’t helping, but Lee also seems to have lost some focus. Perhaps he’s frustrated? I would be in his shoes. But whatever — this is a crucial year. He’ll almost certainly declare at the end of the season and head for the pro’s. Without the eye-popping physical skills (he’s listed at 6-0 and 195lbs) he’s not going to max out his potential draft stock with a mediocre season on the CV.
It’ll be nice for teams picking in the final frame of round one if he does drop. Really, it shouldn’t come to that. He has an opportunity to make sure it doesn’t.
Funnily enough, following the Trent Richardson trade, it wouldn’t be a total shocker to see Teddy Bridgewater and Marqise Lee combining in Cleveland. That wouldn’t be a bad thing for the Browns.
My wife is due to give birth to our first son on the 28th. That means it could basically happen at any time. If I suddenly don’t post for a few days, you know why. I’ll be sure to check in asap.