Just over one year into his NFL career, Trent Richardson, the running back out of Alabama taken third overall in the 2012 draft is now a member of the Indianapolis Colts. While Richardson was drafted by the previous regime in Cleveland and his injury history is a concern, the 22 year old running back was still able to rush for nearly 1,000 yards in his first season, despite playing against some stout defenses in the AFC North.
The Cleveland Browns are seemingly in yet another rebuilding year, and while a first round pick in next year's draft may seem nice on paper, the team likely won't have a pick in the top half of the round due to the Colts potentially contending for a playoff spot again this season. Moreover, they'll be hard-pressed to be able to draft a player that can contribute the way Richardson had to this point in his young career. There was already a promising young corps of skill position players, with emerging tight end Jordan Cameron and second-year wide receiver Josh Gordon (who was suspended for violating the league's drug policy), so subtracting Richardson makes little sense.
For the Colts, this is a win-win scenario. The stable of running backs in Indianapolis was still suspect heading into the 2013 season, and after starter Vick Ballard tore his ACL last week, management obviously didn't feel great about the depth at the position. While a first round pick is a fairly steep price for a running back in what's become a more pass-oriented NFL, the Colts will be getting a player that can make an impact right now for a franchise which struggled to run the ball in 2012.
Grade for Cleveland: C-. Even with a new front office and coaching staff, trading the #3 overall pick just a little bit over one season into their NFL career is a bit of a head-scratcher. The first round pick will bring talent back to Cleveland, but it does nothing to help them this season.
Grade for Indianapolis: B+. The price was a bit high, but with the coaching staff wanting to take some of the pressure off of second-year phenom Andrew Luck and the passing game. A bit of a gamble, but I expect better production from Richardson in Indianapolis, as he will get to play against defenses that are somewhat softer against the run.