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NFL Draft 2012: Trent Richardson Should Be Avoided By Chiefs Early In First Round

Do not draft the running back. Even if the running back is an elite option like Alabama's Trent Richardson.

The numbers just aren't worth it. No matter how compelling a running back like Adrian Peterson might look, it's easy to forget that Peterson has been sitting at home in recent seasons while other teams with lesser running games make it to the Super Bowl. The same could go for Richardson. Unless your team has more important holes filled, Richardson should not be the early first round choice.

Yet that is what many mock drafts have the Chiefs doing at No. 11, taking Richardson with their first round choice to add to Jamaal Charles to create a potent ground game. But that doesn't make sense given the bigger holes on KC's roster, including offensive tackle, defensive tackle and inside linebacker.

Football Outsiders' Vince Verhei comments on this and notes that the teams deepest into this year's NFL postseason didn't have the most celebrated running attacks. He writes, "In today's NFL, running backs just aren't important enough to warrant an early first-round selection. Consider this: Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings leads all players over the past five seasons with 6,752 rushing yards, followed by Maurice Jones-Drew, Steven Jackson, Chris Johnson and Michael Turner.

"These men have dominated the NFL's rushing statistics since 2007, but in that five-year span, they've won a total of two playoff games as starting running backs. (Turner won two more as LaDainian Tomlinson's backup with the 2007 Chargers.) As great as Peterson and his peers have been, they have failed to carry teams far into the playoffs."

What is interesting to note, instead, is that some of the best teams have the worst running attacks. Who can forget Ryan Grant finding the spotlight with the Packers? How about the combo of Danny Woodhead and BenJarvus Green-Ellis for the Patriots?

The Chiefs should be able to find a decent enough running game while plugging other holes with that first round choice. An impact player in the backfield is not needed compared to any level of the defense. Scott Pioli likely knows this which is why any mock saying Richardson could be taken there is going to end up wrong.