Last October, Ramblin’ Fan wrote an article comparing the two running backs roughly midway through the season. At the time of the article, Trent Richardson had finally come back to “full health” in the Cleveland Browns’ backfield, and Daryl Richardson was nearly splitting the carries with Steven Jackson, as the Rams all-time leading rusher slowly returned to health. At that point, Daryl was averaging 5.2 yards per carry, and gaining a first down on almost 20% of this rushing attempts. Not only was he performing better in his time on the field, but the St. Louis Rams’ running back was, and is, slotted to make a mere 41% of Trent’s annual salary throughout the duration of his entire four-your year contract. Bargain!
The recent trade of Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts has sparked some debate in Rams Nation, with fans irrationally condemning the St. Louis Rams running game. With two 1st-round picks in this years draft, why not make the trade with the Browns, sending Trent Richardson to St. Louis?
|Daryl Richardson||Trent Richardson|
|Yards After Contact||49||75|
|Yards After Catch||85||51|
|Pass Block Effic.||10th||13th|
|Offensive Line (Run)||23rd||17th|
|PFF Overall Ranking||12th||T-16th|
For the most part, the numbers are relatively similar, with Trent Richardson obviously fairing a little better as a “prototypical” rusher, and Daryl Richardson performing better as a utility back. Surprisingly, in pass blocking, Daryl has allowed only two total pressures on the season, none of which were hits on Sam Bradford. Trent, on the other hand, has allowed five total pressure, two of those being hits on the now-injury Brandon Weeden.
Naturally, it is hard to make an argument based purely off raw statistical figures. Trent Richardson is the 3rd overall pick from the 2011 Draft, scooped up fresh off of a University of Alabama BSC National Championship. Daryl Richardson was one spot away from being Mr. Irrelevant, putting up mildly impressive numbers at Abilene Christian. Daryl is 5′ 10 tall, with a slender 193 lbs. build; Trent is packing 230 lbs. of pure muscle.
However, at the end of the day, all that matters is your production on the football field and the “fit” within your team’s offense. Daryl Richardson has been phenomenal for the St. Louis Rams, both last season in spurts, and this season as the starter. He has excelled in a limited role as a pass protector for Sam Bradford, not allowing a single hit on his quarterback in 58 passing snaps, and has dominated on designated “check-downs” out of the backfield in the receiving game. Even as a runner, Daryl has gained a first down on 23.3% of his rushing attempts, which is the fourth-highest among running backs with at least 30 carries; compared to a mere 9.7% from his twin in
Cleveland Indianapolis, who is dead last in that same grouping.
When all is said and done, the Rams were smart to keep their starting running back and keep both of their 1st-rounders in the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft. Aside from the fantasy world that the mainstream NFL media lives in, where Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson are the faces of the league and the New York Jets are a relevant football team, name recognition does not top production on the football field! So, perk up Rams’ fans, we already have a stud in our backfield, regardless of whether the rest of the league knows it yet.
Additional Note: The St. Louis Rams are currently estimated to be approximately $773,000 under the 2013 NFL Salary Cap. Trent Richardson’s contract counts $1,165,901 against the cap this season, $2,252,708 in 2014, and $3,184,062 in 2015.