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Trent Richardson trade: Browns now projected to have 2nd, 6th picks

By Paul Bessire | PredictionMachine.com

Trent Richardson was traded from the Browns to the Colts Wednesday.
Trent Richardson was traded from the Browns to the Colts Wednesday. (USATSI)

The Cleveland Browns traded Trent Richardson, the third pick in the 2012 draft, to the Indianapolis Colts for a first-round draft pick next year. PredictionMachine.com projects the Colts to finish tied for the fifth-worst record in the league with Minnesota and Oakland. This would result in the Browns getting around the 6th overall pick (splitting the difference). The Browns, who are looking to rebuild a franchise that has only had two winnings seasons since 1999, will have 10 draft picks next year.

Before the trade:
Colts record: 6.8 wins, 9.2 losses

Playoff Probabilities (odds to win):
Division: 7.5%
Wild Card: 3.7%
Super Bowl: 0.1%

Rest of Season Stats:

Andrew Luck: 3,007.9 pass yards, 20.6 TDs, 10.9 INTs 367.7 rush yards, 3.5 TDs

Ahmad Bradshaw: 633.3 rush yards, 3.8 TDs, 163.4 rec. yards, 0.4 TDs

Trent Richardson (on the Browns): 1,043.3 rush yards, 7.3 TDs, 195.0 rec. yards, 0.5 TDs

After the trade:
Colts record: 6.5 wins, 9.5 losses

Playoff Probabilities (odds to win):
Division: 6.6%
Wild Card: 3.6%
Super Bowl: 0.1%

Rest of Season Stats:

Andrew Luck: 3,143.8 pass yards, 21.4 TDs, 11.5 INTs, 475.0 rush yards, 3.5 TDs

Trent Richardson (on the Colts): 969.8 rush yards, 6.3 TDs, 192.3 rec. yards, 0.9 TDs

After 50,000 simulations of the rest of the season the Colts go from 11.2% likely to make the playoffs to 10.2% likely to reach the postseason. The addition of Richardson should add more balance offensively to Indianapolis but that does not necessarily make the Colts a better team.

Currently, the Colts are averaging 5.0 yards/rushing attempt (5th in the NFL). That average through two games is not likely to be sustained by this team with that offensive line regardless of the running back. With the addition of Richardson, the Colts are projected to run the ball more often, which will almost assuredly bring their rushing average down (Richardson has only averaged 3.4 yards-per-carry in his career behind a line that includes an elite left tackle and an above average center).

As a result of the balance, Andrew Luck will attempt fewer passes. Currently averaging 7.6 yards/attempt, we do anticipate Luck to become even more efficient in the passing game. However, throwing less (with slightly greater efficiency) and running more (at notably weaker efficiency) has an essentially neutral impact on the Colts' scoring average, specifically because the team still projects to be an above average passing team and a below average rushing team. The addition of Richardson, while great for headlines, does not improve the Colts chance of making the playoffs this year.

As a result of the balance, Andrew Luck will attempt fewer passes. Currently averaging 7.6 yards/attempt, we do anticipate Luck to become even more efficient in the passing game. However, throwing less (with slightly greater efficiency) and running more (at notably weaker efficiency) has an essentially neutral impact on the Colts' scoring average, specifically because the team still projects to be an above average passing team and a below average rushing team. The addition of Richardson, while great for headlines, does not improve the Colts chance of making the playoffs this year.

 
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