Mike Tannenbaum has never been shy when he sees a draft prospect he likes. Mr. T strategically positioned the Jets to nab Darrelle Revis and traded up to the fifth pick to select Mark Sanchez in 2009. While the Jets effectively traded five players to get Sanchez, franchise quarterbacks are difficult to obtain and after suffering from years of quarterback futile, Sanchez was a no-brainer. Tebow-mania aside, Sanchez is an established player that has won four road playoff games and will likely have successful NFL career.

Going into this year’s draft, the Jets have another opportunity to move up and select another cornerstone player. Alabama running back, Trent Richardson is considered to be the best running back prospect since Adrian Peterson–and moving up to get him should be another no-brainer for the Jets.

Mr. T, Rex, and Tony Sparano have vehemently stated they are determined to restore the ‘Ground and Pound’ attack that put the Jets back on the map. The only issue? The Jets don’t have the running back personnel to make it happen. Richardson could change all of that for the Jets.

My trusted NFL Draft guru and friend, Matt Waldman, who authors his annual Rookie Scouting Portfolio, pegs Richardson as the best prospect in this class. Waldman credits Richardson’s exception balance, vision, and footwork as this year’s top prospect. Playing in the SEC, Richardson excelled in college’s most NFL-like conference. In his three seasons with the Crimson Tide, Richardson averaged more than 5.2 YPC in each season. As a featured runner last season, Richardson amassed over 2,000 total yards and scored 24 TDs. Richardson is a big, fluid running back, checking in at 224 pounds and displayed an impressive workout at Alabama’s pro day. Richardson skipped the NFL Combine, but no one is disputing his pro potential.

To get Richardson, the Jets will likely need to trade up to #3. The Jets will need to offer a package reminiscent of the Ricky Williams deal. More recently, Atlanta gave up two first rounders, a third rounder, and two fourths to get Julio Jones at #6 last year. While the price was steep, Jones gave Matt Ryan another weapon as he hauled in 959 yards and 8 TDs. The Jets would expect a similar return and then some with Richardson.

I’ve been very, very critical of the Jets ground attack and I’ve also stated that the Jets need to have a solid draft. The Jets have a lot of glaring holes and limited picks, but as we’ve seen with Peterson, a franchise running back makes everyone else better.

As we’ve seen time after time, the Jets toss caution aside and make the big move. In Richardson’s case, selecting the Alabama prospect will provide dividends for the next ten seasons.