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The Boston Globe

Sports

NFL Draft Preview: RBs

Trent Richardson is great, but worth a high pick?

Value of running backs is in question

Based purely on talent, Alabama running back Trent Richardson is one of the five to 10 most talented players available in next week’s NFL draft. His compact, powerful body reminds some of Emmitt Smith, fitting since both hail from Pensacola, Fla.

But the game is changing in the NFL. Passing is king, and a balanced offense isn’t always needed for success. Of the 12 teams who were in the 2011 playoffs, half had a ballcarrier who topped 1,000 rushing yards, and two of those six advanced to their respective conference title game.

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