Oakland Raiders Preseason Week 2: Winners and Losers

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May 19, 2015; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Trent Richardson (33) at organized team activities at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Loser: Trent Richardson

One of the highest-profile free agent acquisitions the Raiders made this offseason was signing former 3rd overall pick Trent Richardson, who has so far in his short NFL career been somewhat of a bust for both Cleveland and Indianapolis. While struggling to control his weight (at 5’9″ Richardson has gotten up to the 240 pound range), Richardson has displayed a stunning lack of vision as an NFL back, routinely ignoring holes and running up the backs of his blockers. While he had 11 rushing touchdowns as a rookie, he has not yet had a 1,000 yard season and has a 3.3 yard per carry career average.

While the pressure of being a feature back is mostly gone for him in Oakland, he may find himself being pushed completely off the roster due to poor preseason performances. A week after an unspectacular 5 carry, 18 yard performance against the Rams, Richardson managed an abysmal five yards on five carries against the Vikings. While his role was expanded, it only gave him another avenue for failure: Richardson returned a kickoff for a mere 11 yards in the game as well.

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The Trent Richardson comps for Najee Harris aren't totally unwarranted
The Trent Richardson comps for Najee Harris aren't totally unwarranted /

Still Curtain

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  • Richardson might be a better blocker than most of the running backs on the roster but his value is highly limited if that’s all he can do. Marcel Reece is both a better blocker and receiver, and Roy Helu is a better receiver as well. Michael Dyer, who is a stocky power back like Richardson, has had far stronger performances as a runner. Taiwan Jones and George Atkinson III are both superior return men and overall athletes.

    While Richardson, because of his name and profile, seemed to be a lock for a roster spot, right now he may be on the bubble as the Raiders look to round out their running back corps with players who excel at actually running the football. He may turn out to be an even bigger bust than we realized and could find himself as a free agent if this trend continues.

    Next: Winner: Brice Butler