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Trent Richardson is No. 1 player on Jets draft board

Trent Richardson

Alabama running back Trent Richardson answers a question during a news conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Friday, Feb. 24, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)


The Jets are moving back toward a “ground-and-pound” offensive approach, but lack a difference-making running back. Coming out of Alabama, Trent Richardson is expected to be a game changer at the next level. The Jets certainly think so.

ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio is reporting that Richardson is the No. 1-rated player on the Jets’ draft board. Sal Pal was invited to sit in Jets G.M. Mike Tannenbaum’s office along with coach Rex Ryan on Wednesday, so he obviously has trustworthy insight here.

Would the Jets consider trading up from the No. 16 pick into the top five, in order to land Richardson? Richardson thinks they might after Jets officials contacted him on Sunday night.

“They wanted to know my information as far as whether it’s the right number to reach me in case something does happen, with them trading up,” Richardson revealed.

Paolantonio’s story does acknowledge that a Jets trade up is a “long shot” because such a deal would require a hefty dose of compensation. Tannenbaum has a history of moving up the draft board, however. He did it in the 2007, 2008, and 2009 first rounds.

Those trades netted the Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, tight end Dustin Keller, and quarterback Mark Sanchez.