Even though they aren’t the finished product, there is always one college prospect heading into the NFL Draft who everyone falls in love with.
Physical characteristics demonstrated at the Combine sometimes play a role; Sometimes their personality plays a role; or on the other hand some of the time, it’s down to their showcase at their specific ace day before scouts.
Anthony Richardson is this year’s golden boy, and in his particular circumstance, he is impressed at every stage of the process.
At the Combine, Richardson jumped the highest and farthest and ran the fastest 40-yard dash of any quarterback.
However, it was at his College of Florida ace day where his huge arm and all-around range of abilities illuminated virtual entertainment and had groups slobbering over his true capacity.
When one of his powerful throws hit the indoor facility’s ceiling, he almost threw the ball out of the building.
Richardson is now the draft’s most intriguing prospect; According to reports, some people think he’s the next Josh Allen. He’s a rough diamond that will take years to get right, but he has great potential, and he’s been ranked No. 1 by teams as high as the Carolina Panthers. 1 is thinking about taking him.
It is those harsh edges which could see him tumble down the draft request. However, general managers and coaches across the league have been unable to ignore the “what if” that Richardson presents, even though he is only 20 years old.
In his official draft profile, NFL analyst Lance Zierlein noted that he possesses “elite size, strength, and athletic ability for the quarterback position” as well as “potential to perform in a variety of offensive schemes” and “arm strength to throw downfield and into tight windows.” However, he also noted that he is inaccurate when passing.
Richardson could find a new home anywhere in the league because nine of the first 12 picks could be held by teams that need a quarterback.
Diamond in the rough
Richardson first made a name for himself in football by catching the ball rather than throwing it.
Richardson was used as a wide receiver in his first game for Eastside High School in Florida. He was caught making an extraordinary one-handed leaping catch, similar to one Odell Beckham Jr. made for the New York Giants.
That video, which Richardson shared more than four years ago, has become a sign of the athleticism he is now known for.
Richardson claims that he has a brand-new tattoo that reads “1 of 1” to represent his distinctive set of skills.
Many people consider me to be of a different breed. Richardson stated to ESPN, “I always tell people that I am not from Earth.” I’m talented and gifted. I feel like God made me unique, and I simply attempt to involve that in my regular routine.”
Before deciding to attend the University of Florida, he rose to the position of starting quarterback quickly; His high school was only 15 minutes away from the college.
Richardson’s first season with the Gators was disappointing; He took a redshirt his first year and only attempted 64 passes the second.
He started 12 games and threw for 2,549 passing yards, 17 touchdowns, and nine interceptions in his third year at the college, leading the team to a 6-6 record while he was in charge. He also ran for 9 more touchdowns and 654 yards.
Richardson will enter the draft with only 13 career college starts to his name. If he is selected in the first round, that would be tied with Mitch Trubisky for the lowest number of college starts for a first-round quarterback draft pick since 2002, according to ESPN.
The evidence recorded on tape demonstrates Richardson’s ability despite his lack of experience.
Richardson’s power when he has the ball in his hands extends beyond just throwing; Over the course of the previous two seasons, the young quarterback has run for a touchdown 45, 60, 73, 80, and 81 yards.
However, Zierlein’s evaluation states that Richardson will require “a lot of work that needs to be done to reach a potentially high ceiling” despite those impressive throws and runs.
His poor footwork and erratic rhythm contributed, in part, to his poor accuracy on short and straightforward throws. The problems with his footwork can be fixed, but the hard part will be figuring out if he can pass at least functionally at the next level.
In any case, it is that trust that Richardson could make the most extreme out of his potential which has groups charmed.
FiveThirtyEight claims that Richardson’s draft stock skyrocketed from a mid-first round selection at the conclusion of a college season to a top-five selection in just a few months.
Analysts have compared Richardson to Cam Newton, a physically powerful quarterback with some accuracy issues.
Newton had just finished a thrilling final season at Auburn, where he won the Heisman Trophy and the NCAA championship. He then went on to have a very successful NFL career with the Carolina Panthers, winning the NFL MVP award in 2015.
Although Richardson’s ceiling is such that a team selecting him in the top five of the draft will be hoping for him to match Newton’s career path, matching the production of an MVP is a high bar.
Trevor Lawrence, Trey Lance, and Justin Fields in 2021, and Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, and Jalen Hurts in 2020 can all count mobility in their arsenal of weapons. Richardson would also continue the trend of teams giving quarterbacks who can excel at both throwing and running the ball priority in the draft.
Furthermore, no one wishes to miss out on selecting a franchise quarterback; Nobody wants the Chicago Bears to select Patrick Mahomes over Mitchell Trubisky. While Mahomes has two Super Bowl rings and two league MVP awards, Trubisky has settled into a back-up role on his third team.
Richardson could be selected first overall on Thursday or outside the top 10 players.
If he reaches his potential, his rare combination of athleticism and a big arm could completely transform their prospects. If general managers choose to overlook him, he is an intriguing prospect.