Oakland Raiders: Five Players Under The Most Pressure To Produce Now

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May 26, 2015; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Trent Richardson (33) carries the ball under the supervision of running backs coach Bernie Parmalee at organized team activities at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Trent Richardson

There might not be anybody in the NFL with more to prove than Trent Richardson at this point. With his status as a high first round pick, the fact that he’s been through two teams already before landing in Oakland has led many to label him a big time bust. Perhaps not as big of a bust as Jamarcus Russell, but to some, he’s likely in the same ballpark.

After the Cleveland Browns gave up on their third overall pick and shipping him off to Indianapolis, things didn’t get better for Richardson. In a season and a half with the Colts, Richardson never found any sort of groove or success. In 29 total games in Indianapolis, Richardson amassed a total of 977 yards on 316 carries – that’s a 3.1 ypc average, if you’re scoring at home.

And if you follow the Raiders, you know that running the ball was one of the team’s biggest Achille’s Heels last season. The Raiders had the NFL’s worst ground game – by far.

Given that, many are wondering why Reggie McKenzie and Jack Del Rio would even bother rolling the dice on a guy like Richardson. The belief is that returning Richardson to a scheme he’s familiar with will help him flourish and live up to the potential he showed coming out of Alabama.

Richardson and fellow Crimson Tide alum Amari Cooper have discussed the similarities in some of the schemes the Raiders run with those the flourished in at Alabama. In college, Richardson was electric. He was a threat to score any time he touched the ball. And the hope in the East Bay is that returning him to some of those elements that he’s familiar with will yield similar results.

If it doesn’t though, and Richardson flounders as bad as he did in Cleveland and Indianapolis, it may not just mean the end of his time in Silver and Black, it may mean the end of his time in the NFL.

Next: Latavius Murray