Can Trent Richardson Revive His Career With Raiders?


Whatever the contributing factors, new Oakland Raiders running back Trent Richardson has failed to this point in his NFL career.

After being picked third overall in the 2012 NFL Draft behind Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, Richardson looked like he might be on his way to a promising NFL career after a rookie season in which he didn’t have a high yard per carry average, but he scored plenty of touchdowns and made fantasy football players pretty happy with their investments in him.

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With a decent rookie season and clear upside, the Colts made a trade the following year to get Richardson off the Browns’ hands, giving up a first round pick in the process. It seemed adding the former top pick might be the exact balance the Colts needed offensively to push themselves over the top in the AFC, but that didn’t prove to be the case.

Richardson was benched for a bunch of players that even the most die-hard of NFL Draft fans might not have recognized, and he didn’t even dress for the team’s playoff games.

It was an ugly end to his career with the Colts, but it wasn’t the end of the line in the NFL.

Richardson caught on with the Raiders this offseason, who had already signed Roy Helu Jr. of the Washington Redskins and have Latavius Murray waiting to break out next season as the starting running back. Nothing is going to be handed to Richardson, who felt like his previous fit in Indianapolis was not a great one.

So what exactly does ‘reviving’ his career in Oakland look like? Is he going to play a solid complimentary role in the running back stable? Is he going to break through as a starter and lead ball carrier? Is he going to prove his worth as a goal line back?

The opportunities are endless for Richardson to re-establish himself in the league, but he needs to start with one specific trait that he has not been able to hone so far in his NFL career: vision.

When the hole opens up, Richardson apparently either doesn’t see it or has already chosen where he’s going to go, and it’s often the wrong decision. He has plenty of ability to run the football, but he can’t seem to hit the hole, find his burst, or get to the second level.

With a career-long run of just 32 yards, Richardson is in need of some serious coaching up in the finer detail skills of his position, and hopefully the Raiders can provide that for him. When a hole is supposed to be there, it doesn’t seem as though Richardson has the confidence to believe it.

This isn’t Alabama, where the holes just open up and things are almost handed to you.

In Oakland, he’s got to find a niche, or it could be the end of the line.

Next: Ereck Flowers Scouting Report