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2023 NFL Draft

Is Anthony Richardson a First Round Draft Pick?

Heads turn when you take down a top-10-rated team, and heads really spin when your follow-up is not as impressive. My question on whether Anthony Richardson will be a first-round draft pick is a legit question, though one we can’t answer in just a few games.

I have enjoyed reading the headlines, mock drafts, and other great content following the Utah game but I want to take a look at the overall picture of the player, and help give you some perspective on what I believe is probably a player that pushes for round one consideration (though I’m not sure he makes it just yet, that 23′ class looks really promising).

But first, let’s get the comparisons out of the way. If you’re asking me today, he’s in the conversation for QB1 if this is 2022. I do like the intangibles that Richardson brings to the table and does it better than Malik Willis (who is probably the closest player type in the 2022 class). 

Anthony Richardson
Getty Images

Anthony Richardson – What do I like?

The development, year over year you see improvement in Richardson’s game, even with changes in coaching and the playmakers around him (as well as he just didn’t get a ton of playtime the first two seasons at Florida). His PFF grades though continue to go up, which is a plus in my book, you can see a guy pass the eye test on the field but then add in growth on the analytics side of things really give you the warm fuzzies!

The arm-strength is rea. I mean check out this absolute bomb at the Manning passing academy. Now we know that he’s not getting pressured and he’s just letting it rip But the strength is there, and thats huge! Here’s another 68-yarder for your viewing pleasure. This kid has got the stuff. He makes the deep passes look easy, with good zip and a nice tight spiral.

Running ability is easy to see, whether you watched Utah or any previous games. You can see he knows how to escape pressure within the pocket. He can use a stiff arm as well as just flat-out run defenders to the perimeter. 

Anthony Richardson
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Image

What do I want to see still?

  • I always want to see young quarterbacks work on their progressions.
  • I want to see him reading the defense before and after the snap, moving past his first options.
  • Note: I am no expert, so when I’m watching the film I keep my eyes focused on the QB. Many times I’ll re-watch plays (good and bad) to see how they react to pressure, the routes being run, etc.
  • Would love to see him do some more under-center snaps. Though that’s not at all how that offense runs so it’s probably not happening.
  • I want to see how he handles pressure this season. There were times in 2021 where pressure would cause him to make mistakes (see LSU).
  • I want to see him take what he’s given, and not be afraid to throw the ball away.

Watch for yourself, there’s plenty to come!

Anthony Richardson went from 4-Star prospect to potential day one draft pick, I wanted to give you some games to take a gander at, definitely keep an eye on the talented Gator this year!

2021 vs. LSU
2022 vs. Utah
2020 Cotton Bowl (Yea he played some)

He has some great games this year but you’ll really see what he’s made of in October when he faces a murderer’s row of games including Georgia and Texas A&M. As we see him face adversity, it’ll be fun to see how he elevates his play. It will also be telling to see how he elevates the play of his teammates.

NFL teams want their QB to be the face of the franchise. Teams want leaders who can rally the team if the chips are down. If Richardson goes in round 1, I can see why with the athletic ability and physical tools.

Through a couple weeks, he seems like a player that should stay in college next season to continue developing. If he wants to be in the conversation for QB1 in a draft, next years not the time for him with Stroud & Young coming out. 

Any questions or just want to keep the conversation going, hit me up on Twitter Feel free to @ me or DM me and we can talk more about him and the rest of the 2023 NFL Draft, and don’t forget to check out our Mock Draft’s here on Draft Countdown!

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