FROM THE ARCHIVES: Trent Richardson Is The Second Worst-Running Back Ever
September 1 / Eric Goldschein / SportsGrid
This article was originally published on Sept. 30, 2014, after everyone realized Trent Richardson was a complete bust and teams started playing hot potato with the third-overall pick.
Trent Richardson has to be one of the most perplexing draft busts of all time. A third overall draft pick who rushed for almost 1,000 yards in his rookie season despite missing time with an injury and playing for a shitty team (he added 367 yards receiving as well), to say that he's since fallen off a cliff doesn't do his career trajectory justice. He was somehow flipped by the Browns for a first round pick, and since arriving in Indianapolis he's been a massive disappointment, rushing for 766 yards through 20 games.
It's one thing to be a draft bust, though -- he was obviously not worth a top-five pick in 2012, but had he gone on to carve out a decent career, at least you could say he was... decent. Anyone who's seen him play knows that he runs hard -- directly into a group of defenders. But now that Richardson topped 500 career carries over the weekend, we can put his output so far into historical perspective.
It's not pretty: Out of all 344 running backs with at least 500 carries since the NFL-AFL merger, Richardson has the second worst yards-per-attempt average in history. Just look at the names surrounding him on this list, via Pro-Football-Reference:
Only good ol' Michael Haddix had a lower Y/A. Who is Michael Haddix, you ask? He played eight seasons for the Eagles and Packers, and wasn't very good. (Fun fact: He was also drafted with a top-10 pick. Whoops.)
Of course, Y/A can be misleading, and it's not the only stat the matters for running backs. Touchdowns are also nice, as are yards per game (you can still rack up decent yardage if you're a workhorse back that keeps on chugging). But this is an awful statistic that confirms a hunch we had back in 2013: The Browns basically stole a first-round pick from the Colts for this guy.