The buzz around draft prospect and former Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson has grown in the past few weeks. The 6-foot-4 quarterback has a combination of size and speed, with a cannon for an arm. He has drawn comparisons to Cam Newton and Josh Allen, but his experience is in question.
Scouts believes that Richardson has the strongest arm in this draft class. All those things combined have helped raise his draft stock despite his not playing a game since Nov. 25. The combine is set for Feb. 27-March 6 and the football world will be able to see Richardson’s full talents on display if he chooses to accept his combine invitation.
While in college, Richardson was only the full-time starter for his junior year, which was this past season. He threw for 2,549 passing yards, 17 passing touchdowns, and had a 53.8 completion percentage. He also ran for 654 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns.
Richardson’s best two games last year were against Tennessee and Vanderbilt. He threw for a total of 853 passing yards and had seven total touchdowns — five passing, two running — across those two games.
He would join quarterbacks like Newton, Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins, Mitch Trubisky, and Mark Sanchez by starting only one season in college before being taken in the first round.
No. 1 Spot
CBS released their latest mock draft this week that had the Colts trading up to the No. 1 spot and drafting Richardson in a fictional scenario. That drew football fans to chime in on social media to give their take.
Most felt that it was a stretch, but he did have a few supporters.
The NFL draft is about the potential, but first-round picks are precious, and those picks should be reserved for guys that are more solid as players.
The Scouting Report
Richardson’s ceiling is very high, but his scouting report suggests he still is a long way from that top floor.
NFL.com said the following:
“Dual-threat quarterback with an elite physical profile and a lot of work that needs to be done to reach a potentially high ceiling. Richardson’s frame, arm talent and mobility will demand respect as a potential first-round option. He has the ability to make plays on the move that very few of his NFL peers will be able to make. However, but his accuracy on short and simple throws left much to be desired due, in part, to shoddy footwork and inconsistent rhythm. The footwork issues can be corrected, but the challenge will be determining whether he can be at least a functionally accurate passer at the next level.”
Some of his issues were timing issues, hasn’t learned to manipulate coverage with his eyes, inconsistent, inaccurate, and too willing to flip a pass instead of taking the sack or throw the ball away. All things that suggest not being on the field enough in college.
Richardson had to sit behind Emory Jones as a sophomore and Kyle Trask as a freshman, which really stunted his growth. It could do Richardson some good to return to college for his senior season, but the Gators are not a competitive college program right now, and that could ultimately hurt his draft stock in 2024.