Originally written on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 4/23/12

Peter King does great work and his Monday Morning Quarterback column is a must-read. He has some really enlightening information in the column even if you sometimes question his sources. Obviously Tom Heckert does, as he blatantly told the Cleveland press this week that he hasn’t talked to King in years. Be that as it may, King was talking about the 2012 NFL draft and the Browns’ potential for taking running back Trent Richardson.

I know it’s fashionable to give Trent Richardson, far and away the best back in this draft, to Cleveland at No. 4 in round one Thursday. But with the game becoming more and more of an aerial show, the Browns should be thinking hard about their choice before Thursday.

Six teams in the NFL won 12 or more games last year. Here are those teams, and where the leading rusher on each ranked in league rushing stats last season:

Team Record Leading Rusher NFL Rank Green Bay 15-1 James Starks 39 New England 13-3 BenJarvus Green-Ellis 27 New Orleans 13-3 Darren Sproles 33 San Francisco 13-3 Frank Gore 6 Baltimore 12-4 Ray Rice 2 Pittsburgh 12-4 Rashard Mendenhall 21


Ack! That is terrifying. Maybe the Browns should just draft Justin Blackmon!

Let’s look at this a different way though. Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger are basically the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Frank Gore and Ray Rice are tremendous running backs, but they happen to take hand-offs from some guys who are at best on a tier below in Alex Smith and Joe Flacco.

What this list really tells me is that short of having a top top top NFL quarterback, sometimes a team will have to rely on the running game a lot more. Seeing as the Browns are poised to go into this NFL season with either Colt McCoy or a rookie draftee from later this week, I think it might be wise to re-think Peter King’s analysis.

Make no mistake. The Browns will need at least one receiver in the draft. But given the Browns’ prospects at quarterback is it possible to overvalue a three-down running back prospect that can run the ball, catch the ball and also pass block?

Probably not.

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