Trent Richardson: The Colts do have a first-round pick -- me

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com

Trent Richardson averaged 2.9 YPC in 14 games last season. (USATSI)
Trent Richardson averaged 2.9 YPC in 14 games last season. (USATSI)

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Last September, 17 months after the Browns had traded up from the No. 4 to the No. 3 overall pick to draft running back Trent Richardson, the team shipped him and his 3.5-yard-per-carry average to the Colts for their 2014 first-round pick.

If the final 14 games were any indication, the Browns got the better end of that deal, even if Indy's front office and coaching staff remained optimistic that Richardson would be the perfect backfield complement to Andrew Luck.

By the time the 2013 season was over, Richardson averaged a depressing 2.9 yards per carry with the Colts (458 rushing yards on 157 carries and three touchdowns). According to Football Outsiders, he ranked 45th in total value among all running backs, ahead of only Bernard Pierce and Ray Rice.

So now, with the draft two weeks away, the Colts are without a first-round pick. Unless you ask Richardson.

"I think we do have a first-round pick -- and that's me," Richardson said Wednesday, via ESPN.com. "They spent their money on me in the first round. No pressure toward proving to everybody else, just proving to me that I can be the best."

Richardson admits that he tried to do too much last season, which goes a long way in explaining the worst year of his football-playing life.

"You catch yourself trying to hit the home run when you haven't had the big runs yet," he said, according to the Indianapolis Star. "It's human. But you can't hit the home run. You have to set up your runs. That's one thing, (because of) not having as much success as I've always had, you catch yourself saying, 'I gotta score, I gotta score.'"

And unlike Cleveland, a team that didn't have an established quarterback or much of an offensive identity, the Colts' offense runs through Luck, one of the best young players in the game. Richardson doesn't need to carry this team, he just needs to do his part. And to hear him tell it, he still believes in his abilities.

"As far as confidence, man, I can't wait. There's a lot that I want to do," Richardson said, via ProFootballlTalk. "I've been playing football my whole life. I never thought it would become a struggle for me. I look back at it and I say, 'Hey, you're still the guy, you're still the Trent Richardson you've always been. Just keep your mindset right.'"

 
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