The Colts announced that they traded a 2014 first round draft pick to the Cleveland Browns for RB Trent Richardson on Wednesday afternoon. Richardson was the third overall draft pick of the 2012 NFL Draft.
The 5-9, 228 pound running back is a potential franchise RB and last season showed promise with 950 rushing yards to go with 11 touchdowns while playing a portion of the season with broken ribs. Indianapolis recently suffered a hit to their RB unit when Vick Ballard was ruled out for the season. The 22-year old running back will join a backfield with incumbent started Ahmad Bradshaw and Donald Brown.
NaVorro Bowman earlier said today that everything on the Colts offensively revolves around second-year quarterback Andrew Luck. Not so fast. With the acquisition of Richardson, the Colts now have the first and third overall picks from the 2012 NFL Draft.
This trade is a reflection of what head coach Chuck Pagano said about the team's identity in a conference call earlier this morning. After losing offensive coordinator and interim head coach Bruce Arians to the Arizona Cardinals, the Colts hired Pep Hamilton, who was Luck's coordinator while at Stanford in 2011. Pagano said that it is important for any team to have success offensively on the ground. Stanford was a run-first team throughout Luck's tenure with passing becoming a second option.
"When I got the job here [with the Colts], our mindset from day one was that I feel like I should stand by what I have been taught by great coaches over the years," Pagano said. "You have to run the ball and stop the run at any level. That's been our mindset since we took over here and we've stayed with that philosophy."
With Richardson joining the team, the Colts offense will have an emphasis to do well on the ground. While it is a short four days before the 49ers host the Colts, Richardson will be expected to start for them right away at the running back position.
It will be important for the 49ers to not focus all their attention on the passing game, but the running backs as well. Luck will have his passes, but Richardson changes the dynamics of the Colts offense.
The second-year running back has 105 rushing yards off 31 attempts with no touchdowns through two games with the Browns this season.