One of the questions surrounding the 2023 NFL Draft is how high Anthony Richardson will be selected. According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, a scout pegged him as a top-12 pick, which is in line with where some draft boards have the University of Florida phenom.
“The Anthony Richardson hype is relentless after the Florida quarterback jumped 40.5 inches in the vertical and ran a 4.43-second 40-yard dash at 6-foot-4 and 244 pounds,” Fowler wrote. “One NFL scout I spoke to said his team was internally debating whether Richardson would go in the top 12, and most agreed that he would. And that was early in the week, before the fantastic workout.”
The workout Fowler mentioned took place on Saturday, and to say that Richardson had a “fantastic” outing might be an understatement. The 21-year-old blew everyone away with his athleticism and arm strength.
To start off, Richardson displayed a 40.5-inch vertical, which turned out to be a modern combine record for quarterbacks. Moreover, his 10-foot-9 broad jump tied for the best mark in the event since at least 2003 by a quarterback.
Anthony Richardson just set a combine record for quarterbacks with a 40.5” vertical with this… pic.twitter.com/68muNURNwq
— StaceyDales (@StaceyDales) March 4, 2023
On top of his leaping ability, Richardson also showed impressive quickness while completing a 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds, the fourth-fastest time among all the quarterbacks who have run the distance at the combine since 2003.
Anthony Richardson is having himself a day.
4.44u on his first run. 😳 @GatorsFB
— NFL (@NFL) March 4, 2023
Of course, the Florida native is not just an athletic specimen, as he also exhibited accurate passing.
Anthony Richardson letting it FLY. @GatorsFB
— NFL (@NFL) March 4, 2023
Still, some pundits see Richardson as a raw but highly promising prospect. In addition to his performance at the combine, he had a solid collegiate season in 2022, playing 12 games and completing 176 passes for 2,549 yards and 17 touchdowns.
He also ran for 654 yards and nine touchdowns.
Some scouts and team officials seem to like what they have seen from the young quarterback. An executive even offered flattering comparisons for Richardson.
“One league exec called Richardson a blend of Cam Newton, Josh Allen and Justin Fields,” Fowler added. “And multiple teams I spoke to this week said his interviews were impressive, too, and that the QB was comfortable in those settings.”
Those players certainly provide Richardson with great blueprints to model his game after. Newton is a former MVP who also turned heads with his athleticism early on in his football career. Meanwhile, Allen has proven to be a winner, helping the Buffalo Bills go on playoff runs in the previous four campaigns. As for Fields, the No. 11 pick of the 2021 draft has shown promise on the field, although it has yet to translate to winning seasons for the Chicago Bears.
Only time will tell where Richardson ends up in the 2023 draft. It might be tough for him to leapfrog more proven signal-callers, such as Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud and Will Levis, but his stock is definitely rising.