Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson was taken by the Indianapolis Colts with the No. 4 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. He’s the third quarterback taken off the board so far and becomes the QB of the future for the Colts. Richardson entered the draft as one of the rawest, yet physically impressive top quarterback prospects in some time.
Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson has the raw skills that should easily make him a first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. However, he’s somewhat of a divisive prospect, with some analysts pointing to the rawness of his skill set as a potential risk at the pro level.
A local product, Richardson saw just one start during the 2020 and 2021 seasons. He took over as the Gators’ starting quarterback last year, and over the course of 12 games, he threw for 2,553 yards, 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions. On the ground, he put up big numbers, with 654 yards and nine touchdowns.
Anthony Richardson: Scouting Report
ESPN’s Mel Kiper summed up Richardson’s outlook as a pro recently, citing the quarterback's incredible raw talent with the concerns over his lack of experience.
“The talent is off the charts. When he becomes a starter, he’ll become one of the top three running quarterbacks in the NFL. He’s got the howitzer. He’s got the rocket arm, but accuracy, and seeing the field is things he needs to work on.
“Another year at Florida would have benefited him, but hey, if he’s going to be a top-10 pick? Develop in the NFL, okay? So, for Anthony Richardson, I’ve said ‘boom or bust.’”
Richardson has the arm strength to attack downfield against defenses, and he’s shown some impressive accuracy on his deep throws. Where he’s noticeably struggled as a passer is on the shorter stuff, thanks to iffy footwork and timing. The good news is that both of those things can be coached at the next level.
Where Richardson can be a real threat right away in the NFL is as a runner. He can make big, highlight-worthy plays with his feet, turning a busted play into a big gain or carrying the ball himself on designed runs.
Mock Draft landing spots
It didn’t take long for Richardson to be selected in a recent mock draft between ESPN’s Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. Richardson was mocked fourth overall to the Indianapolis Colts by McShay. He added the following reasoning:
“Indy has to solve the problem under center. Richardson might not be ready to play right away, but the sky is the limit on his potential. With a huge arm and great mobility, he’d be a dynamic player running new coach Shane Steichen’s offense.”
In The Athletic’s last mock draft ahead of the event starting Thursday, James Boyd also picked up Richardson at No. 4 to Indy. Here is his analysis:
“After the smoke cleared with Houston at No. 2 and Arizona at No. 3, the Colts’ decision came down to Kentucky’s Will Levis or Florida’s Anthony Richardson. They chose the latter, with Richardson having the most upside of any player in this year’s class. New coach Shane Steichen’s track record with QBs — most recently Eagles dual-threat superstar Jalen Hurts — gives the team confidence that he can help develop Richardson the same way. Gardner Minshew will likely start the season, but Indy believes its patience will pay off after potentially landing its first franchise quarterback since Andrew Luck retired in 2019.”
Fantasy football implications
Richardson has the benefit of his dual-threat ability giving him upside in fantasy football. It is going to depend on where he lands to determine just how much upside he is going to have. The good news is that rookie quarterbacks are usually not fantasy relevant, so whichever team drafts him has a year to improve his supporting cast.
In dynasty, Richardson is going to be a top quarterback pick. I’d have him behind only CJ Stroud and above the likes of Bryce Young, Hendon Hooker, Will Levis and others. Due to his rushing proficiency, Richardson could end up being the best quarterback in this class for fantasy football.
For redraft leagues, you don’t need to worry about rostering Richardson this season. It is very rare for rookie quarterbacks to turn in profitable fantasy football performances during their first year in the league. He could be matchup dependent and have upside as a streamer one week, but overall you’re looking toward 2024 with Richardson.