NEXT ON OUR SCOUTING REPORTS IS ANTHONY RICHARDSON. CHECK OUT OUR OTHER 2023 NFL DRAFT SCOUTING REPORTS HERE
- Height: 6’4″
- Weight: 232 Lbs
- College: Florida
- Year: Sophomore
- Position: Quarterback
Anthony Richardson is one of the top quarterback prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft and one of the most exciting and electric players available. A dual-threat quarterback with a powerful running style and elite arm strength, Richardson has the highest ceiling of any quarterback available.
Born in Gainsville, Florida, Richardson attended Eastside High School in Gainsville. Richardson had always shown his dual-threat ability. Throwing for 4633 passing yards and 37 passing touchdowns while also having a further 1633 yards and 41 touchdowns rushing in high school.
A four-star recruit, Richardson committed to Florida in April 2019, prior to his senior year in high school. Despite offers from Georiga, Michigan and Penn State.
Richardson also took part in the Elite 11 finals in June 2019. While he also starred in the Netflix show ‘QB1: Beyond the Lights’ later that year. He featured in series 4 of the show documenting his senior year at Eastside.
At Florida, Richardson has had to fight for his starting role. Finding himself behind Kyle Trask and Emory Jones. 2021 saw Richardson get a chance to show his worth. Originally starting with Jones, Richardson worked his way into the rotation, getting his only start against Georgia in October 2021.
In 2022, Richardson became the established starter. Finishing with 2549 passing yards and 17 passing touchdowns as well as 654 rushing yards and 9 rushing touchdowns. Richardson showed his true dual-threat ability and declared for the 2023 NFL Draft at the beginning of December 2022.
With a strong arm and a powerful runner, Richardson has all the tools and traits to be a great QB, he does however need some development.
Watch the video below which shows why Anthony is such an exciting prospect with his rushing and passing ability.
- Powerful Rusher
- Elite Arm Strength
- True Playmaker
One key selling point for Richardson is his explosive athleticism. He is a pure athlete. A dual-threat quarterback who has all the tools. This is what gives Anthony Richardson such a high ceiling and why NFL teams will be giving him much consideration.
That is really intriguing for teams. To be an elite quarterback in today’s NFL you need both a strong arm and the ability to make plays when the play breaks down. The feature word for Richardson is playmaker. On the run? Playmaker. Going deep? Playmaker. Out of structure? Playmaker. You get the idea.
Anthony Richardson also hits all the measurables. He has a compact frame and he displays durability for his playing style and should be a good tester, predictions are he will run in the 4.4s range. Richardson’s measurables will be a big tick in the box for team’s evaluations.
The ability to use Anthony Richardson in the run game will open up the playbook for offensive coordinators. As a runner, Richardson is wiry and has all the speed and physicality you need. He is dynamic and elusive with the ball in hand and extremely agile. His twitchy athletic ability gives him a really strong cut and change of direction. Which allows him to hit running lanes with power in the designed run game.
When the play breaks down though, Richardson can use this slippery, tough, powerful running style to escape the pocket and scramble. His ingenuity and creativity outside of structure, mean he can extend plays and he has to be accounted for at all times. He will escape, he will evade, he will make plays.
While what Richardson offers as a runner is exciting, it is what he can do as a passer which is really alluring.
Richardson has an extremely strong arm which allows him to hit all areas of the field. He has elite arm strength which not only means he can throw the ball anywhere, but he can also throw with power, velocity and zip. He is able to mix up the trajectory, thrusting passes into tight windows, but he also has nice enough touch to get the ball deep timely.
Operationally Richardson also displays some good mechanics. His mechanics mean can launch the ball with a simple flick of the wrist. He maintains good balance through his throws, which he maintains when he is out of structure.
Richardson’s mobility means he is asked to throw on the run. It should be no surprise that Richardson can be successful in this area, given his ability on the run and as a thrower. Even in the pocket, Richardson can sense danger and has the confidence to step up into the pocket with his head up, extending downs and making plays.
Richardson also flashes the ability to go through his progressions. He sees the field well and can analyse the field understanding coverages both at the line of scrimmage and deep coverages, while also showing the ability to do this under pressure. Once he goes through the progressions and there is nothing on, he can turn to his playmaking ability as a runner by tucking the ball and running towards the line of gain. He could speed these progressions up at times but that will come with more reps.
Richardson’s blend of rushing ability with elite arm talent gives him such a high ceiling in the NFL and the highest ceiling in this class. He has the skills and he has the talent, he now needs to put it together. If an NFL team can sew it all together, Richardson will be on for a very successful career.
- Decision Making
For all the base attributes that Richardson has, he does have some considerable work to do. He is extremely raw and needs a lot of development, but if, as a team, you have the job security and infrastructure in place to develop Richardson, you could reap the rewards.
The biggest problem for Richardson to clean up is both his accuracy and reads.
Starting with his accuracy.
Richardson can make throws that are out of sync with his receiver, missing the opportunity for extra yards. Even when he makes a completion, sometimes he can make receivers work harder than is necessary. The accuracy is far too inconsistent and will need to improve. He can go from making a throw that makes him look elite to one that makes him look like a late-round pick. Teams will need to be able to deal with this. With development, this can be fixed. But, teams will need to understand that currently, this is where Richardson is and he will need time to develop it.
Reads & Mechanics
A lot of those inconsistencies in accuracy though, come from his reads and progressions. While as previously mentioned, Richardson can go through his progressions and shows flashes of what it can be, too often he is too slow and late. His release can be long at times and it causes the throw to take longer than is needed. His release point can also be inconsistent, putting too much air underneath the ball when his mechanics are not on point. He shows he does have good mechanics, it can just be too inconsistent. Being tighter in his hips, not tilting his posture and setting his base better will aid his development. It will just need time and work.
That extra second it can take him to spot his read and dial it up means he can invite extra pressure or the window has closed by the time the ball gets there. Improving that timing and rhythm will help him be even more creative than he already is and more importantly will improve his decision-making.
Richardson can also be guilty of forcing throws. This is especially prevalent when he is under pressure. He can try and do too much and he needs to learn that in some situations taking a sack or throwing the ball out of bounds is better than throwing the ball and hoping.
Those 2 tied together lead to carelessness with the football which is something teams will not tolerate when he is on the field as an NFL player. It is why Richardson may benefit from sitting behind a veteran for at least a year, studying them, and learning from them so he can benefit in the future.
Anthony Richardson has the highest ceiling of any quarterback who has declared for the 2023 NFL Draft and if he is developed to achieve near that he will be a good quarterback in the NFL. Richardson needs exactly that though, development.
Richardson is potentially not ready to make an instant impact and needs time to grow, progress and evolve before he can flourish. A year where he can redshirt and learn from an established veteran would be ideal, as he is educated, guided and coached before making his mark.
If a team has an established coaching staff, who have job security, who have the time and the patience to develop Richardson into what his talent indicates, Richardson could be an amazing NFL player. That is the perfect scenario. The problem is time and security are rarely things that NFL coaches or players are afforded.
His ability to synthesise running and passing makes Richardson an outstanding NFL prospect and one that should be really exciting, attractive and appealing for NFL teams. What Richardson can be, is great, what he currently is though needs a lot of work.
How good of a prospect is Anthony Richardson? Let us know over on Twitter @NinetynineYards
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Feature Image Credit: USAToday