As the 2023 NFL Draft approaches, Anthony Richardson continues to be one of the most talked about rising stars in the world of football. Richardson has gained reputation as one of the most exciting young players in the game, but with a very limited playing time. That limited time could be the reason for why some analysts have given the quarterback a C rating as we approach the NFL Combine.
Although a small resume, Richardson has done well when on the field. Would you say it’s enough to rank him amongst some of the best players in this year’s NFL Draft class? I personally don’t think so, but I can understand why someone would feel that way. You could argue he’s comparable to some of the quarterbacks we watch and love today, Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen for example. I just need to see more body of work, but let’s start with Richardson’s time in high school.
High School Years
Richardson was a four-star quarterback at Eastside High School and was the ninth-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the class of 2020. Richardson finished his high school career with 4,633 passing yards and 37 touchdowns while adding 1,633 rushing yards and 41 touchdowns on his feet.
The Florida native was a finalist in the Elite 11 and played in the U.S Army All-American Bowl. He led his high school to a 7-4 record and a berth in the FHSAA Class 5A State Playoffs in 2018 during his junior season before suffering a season-ending injury his senior year. Richardson also appeared on the Netflix series “QB1: Beyond The Lights” during his time in high school, which helped shine a bit of light on him.
Richardson appeared in only four games during his first year at Florida in 2020, completing one of two passes for 27 yards with a touchdown and interception. He was able to redshirt his first year of collegiate eligibility.
Richardson entered 2021 as the backup to Emory Jones, but eventually earned more playing time as the season progressed. One of Richardson’s first opportunities to shine occurred during an SEC rival matchup against LSU, when he went on to replace Jones, completing 10 of 19 passes for 167 yards with three touchdowns, two interceptions and a rushing touchdown. Although the Gators lost 42-49, the world was able to see the QB’s potential.
Another key moment in Richardson’s career was when he helped lead an upset over the tenth-ranked Utah Utes in September 2022. He finished the game completing 17-24 passes for a total of 168 yards. The most impact came from Richardson’s feet as he carried the ball 11 times for a total of 106 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Following the end of the 2022 season, Richardson announced that he would enter the 2023 NFL Draft. He finished his career in Florida with 3,105 total passing yards, 24 touchdowns, 14 interceptions and a QB rating of 133.6. He rushed 161 times for 1,116 yards, adding an additional 12 touchdowns on the ground.
What Sets Anthony Richardson Apart?
Richardson’s athleticism is what sets him apart from other quarterbacks in college football. At 6-foot-4, 244 pounds, he has the size and strength to run through tackles and break big plays. To put that in more perspective, Cam Newton is 6-foot-5, 248 pounds and Derrick Henry 6-foot-3, 246 pounds. He also was able to set the QB record for vertical jump at this year’s combine with a 40.5” jump.
Richardson also has the speed and agility to make defenders miss in the open field.
He’s been compared to former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, who also played quarterback for the Florida Gators (2006-2009). Despite his success on the field, Richardson remains humble and focused on improving. He credits his teammates and coaches for his success and is constantly working towards refining his skills in hopes of becoming one of the top quarterbacks in the country.
At the NFL Combine on Friday, he went on to say that he’ll one day be compared to the likes of Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady. As he continues to develop and refine his skills, it’ll be interesting to see if he’ll continue to be one of the players to watch in the future of the NFL.