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Trent Richardson 'isn't even near his ceiling,' Colts GM says

Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson was ecstatic Wednesday about his bold trade for Trent Richardson, touting the former No. 3 overall draft pick as a player who can help lift the team to an elite level.

"There's so much to like," Grigson told The Indianapolis Star after swinging the blockbuster deal with the Cleveland Browns.

In exchange for surrendering their bell-cow running back, the Browns will receive the Colts' first-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

"There's a reason why (Richardson) was taken third overall," Grigson said, via The Star. "That doesn't happen by happenstance. There's a lot that goes into that pick. Guys don't just throw darts at the third pick in the draft. He's done it at a high level his whole life.

"The thing about him is he plays the game the way it's meant to be played. He was born to run the football. He's a powerful back, a back that can avoid tacklers or run over them. He can catch the ball. He adds an element on third down. He's got a pretty broad skill set in a very compact 220-pound frame who happens to run a 4.48 (40-yard dash)."

Colts owner Jim Irsay had promised fans that his team would try to trade for a running back after last season's starter, Vick Ballard, went down with a season-ending injury last week. The Colts also have veteran Ahmad Bradshaw and former first-round pick Donald Brown in the backfield.

Grigson knows there will be questions about why he traded for a player whom some believe has failed to live up to his pre-draft hype (Richardson has averaged just 3.5 yards per carry in his young NFL career). But Grigson expects things to be different for the former Alabama star now that he'll play with Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and a potent passing offense.

"I know the numbers," Grigson said. "But the yardage is there. You see it when you're watching the film. Obviously if you have a guy that's your main threat in the offense, that's who defenses are going to key up. Trent isn't even near his ceiling. We're talking about the third pick in the draft, and that's not because he's a ham-and-egger."

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