2012 NFL Mock Draft: Mel Kiper Has Tampa Bay Buccaneers Selecting Trent Richardson

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers own the No. 5 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, and with it they should select Alabama Crimson Tide running back Trent Richardson, says ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. in his first NFL mock draft.

Kiper acknowledges such a selection may not make much sense on the surface, as the Bucs already have LeGarrette Blount, but urges readers not to "simply dismiss" this pick. Kiper contends having two sound running backs is a must for teams who "want a potent running attack," given "the reality of injuries" that can set back a team.

More importantly, Richardson is an outstanding player, one Kiper says will make an impact in his first year at the professional level because he is "extraordinarily powerful" and he "explodes from contact." Richardson finished No. 3 in Heisman award balloting in his junior season, averaging 5.9 yards per carry and 11.7 yards per catch while scoring 24 touchdowns. For his performance, he earned SEC Offensive Player of the Year honors and the Doak Walker Award.

For more on the Buccaneers, please visit Bucs Nation, SB Nation's Bucs blog.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SB Nation Tampa Bay

You must be a member of SB Nation Tampa Bay to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Tampa Bay. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Tampa Bay

You must be a member of SB Nation Tampa Bay to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Tampa Bay. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.