When it comes to Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson, it is more than certain that you will be entertained and in awe of his athleticism. Richardson entered the combine with the expectation by many that he would create a buzz, and he did not disappoint, putting up combine numbers in likes of which has ever been seen in the history of the event. He recently continued his draft buzz with an entertaining pro day, displaying his cannon of an arm.
On the field, Richardson is comparable to former NFL MVP, Cam Newton and Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen, showing the ability to take off when called upon, and sling the ball downfield with great velocity and distance. His quick footwork allows him to escape a crowded pocket to make a play with his feet when needed, as he has run for a total of five touchdowns of 45+ yards in the past two seasons, with his career-long at Florida being 81 yards. When the pocket is clean, Richardson has the ability to accurately throw a strike to an open receiver, as anticipated pre-snap.
However, Richardson dangerously leans into the boom-or-bust realm, as he is inexperienced and shows glaring discrepancies as a thrower. On film he has shown on occasion that he struggles with his pass progression, forcing errant, inaccurate throws to receivers against complex coverages, which often lead to turnovers. He also gets knocked for having below average touch on balls and puts too much zing on short passes. Another issue are his stats from last season, where he had an abysmal 53.8% completion rate with 9 interceptions in 12 games.
All in all, Richardson is a raw, inexperienced quarterback with an upside potential that reaches the moon. His draft stock has risen throughout this evaluation process– so much to the point where he’s been projected by many experts to be drafted in the top-5 of the draft. If he drops to #7, the Raiders must consider drafting the quarterback and making him sit, with the hope that he polishes his skills while mastering the offense in a relief role.