Player: Daryl Richardson
School: Abilene Christian
Overview: Since I am not actually at Steelers training camp right now, I read up on the happenings at camp to see any developments. While reading Jeff's article from yesterday I noticed one name that I also kept seeing elsewhere: Daryl Richardson.
Richardson was drafted with the second to last pick in the 2012 draft, and has done 'okay' for someone taken that late. He spent 2012 and 2013 with the Rams, where he was up and down. In his rookie year he finished with 98 carries for 475 yards and averaged 4.8 yards per carry, not bad at all for a backup. The next year he took a steep drop in production, 69 carries, 213 yards and 3.1 yards per carry -- ouch. Since then he's bounced around spending time on the practice squads of the Jets, Texans and Browns.
Richardson's biggest asset is his speed. He used to run a 4.47 40-yard dash at his pro day. He also has been a decent pass receiver out of the backfield going back to his college days. At only 26, and given how rarely he has seen the field, he still possesses his speed which is a reason why he keeps getting signed by teams.
It's still very early in preseason, but if he keeps up impressing the coaches with big runs, don't be shocked if he does make the 53-man roster to start the year, despite how crazy that sounds. If Le'Veon Bell is suspended to start the year, that bumps DeAngelo Williams and Fitzgerald Toussaint up on the roster leaving the Steelers with a need for a third back. Richardson could serve in this role until Bell gets back then go back to the practice squad. I don't think there's a realistic chance for Richardson to make the roster outright over Toussaint unless there's an injury, but I have been wrong before.
Without making too much out of one good day at training camp, keep an eye out for Richardson, especially when preseason games roll around.
Experience serving as a backup/change of pace back before
Hits the hole hard
Erratic performance in college carried over to pros
Hasn't appeared in a regular season game since 2013
Does not break tackles or pooch the pile
Chances of Making the team: 10%