The Indianapolis Colts selected quarterback Anthony Richardson in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
NFL reporter Dan Graziano believes that Richardson could lead the league in interceptions during the 2023 regular season but also reported that the Colts think he is further along than predraft evaluations had the NFL world believe.
“Don’t take this the wrong way; I love Richardson’s talent and think he has a chance to be a superstar,” Graziano wrote. “So do the Colts. In fact, they actually think he’s further along than the pre-draft evaluations had us believe. There are going to be throws and drives and even whole games in which he does things that other people simply can’t physically do. But Richardson started only 13 games in college, and he will be developing while playing in real NFL games. He threw nine picks on 327 pass attempts in his final year at Florida. So he’s going to make mistakes, bad decisions and head-scratching throws.
“The Colts are throwing him in there right away because they believe his character and makeup are such that the inevitable low points of a tough rookie season won’t crush him or set back his progress,” he wrote. “They know he has the ability, inclination and desire to learn from his mistakes, and that what he needs most is experience. But the Year 1 Anthony Richardson experience is likely to feel like a roller coaster. And that’s especially true if he doesn’t have running back Jonathan Taylor — which for at least the first four games, he does not.”
Richardson, 21, was selected with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft after a three-season stint playing college football at the University of Florida.
The 6-foot-4 quarterback didn’t establish himself as a college football star until his third and final season as a Gator, however. His first two seasons at Florida were lackluster, as he played in just 12 games and threw for a combined 556 yards. Additionally, his touchdown-to-interception ratio during that span was subpar, considering he threw seven touchdowns compared to six interceptions.
The quarterback did show flashes of greatness running the ball during his second season with Florida, though. He ran for 401 yards and three touchdowns on 51 rushing attempts during the 2021 regular season.
Richardson’s fortunes changed for the better in his third and final season with the Gators, the 2022 season. He was arguably one of the better quarterbacks in the nation a season ago. During the 2022 regular season, Richardson threw for 2,549 yards, 17 touchdowns and just nine interceptions.
Richardson also proved to be extremely effective in the run game during his last season of college football. He ran for 654 yards and nine touchdowns and averaged an impressive 6.3 rushing yards per attempt.
The 21-year-old’s contributions during his final season with the Gators didn’t translate to many wins, however. The Gators finished the 2022 season with a subpar 6-7 record, including a 3-5 record against opponents in their conference.
Richardson probably needs to improve as a passer in order to become a star quarterback at the NFL level. But Colts fans should be optimistic that he will, considering Richardson is just 21 years old and hasn’t scratched the surface of his full potential.