Report: Several NFL teams believe Anthony Richardson will be Week 1 starter for Indianapolis Colts

Orel Dizon
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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts may have struck gold in the 2023 draft after landing Anthony Richardson with the No. 4 overall pick.

It seems that the organization is planning to slot him in the starting lineup immediately. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, several teams around the league are of the belief that the athletic phenom will be the Colts’ Week 1 starter at quarterback.

“I’m told Indy has gotten to work with Anthony Richardson in a hurry, trying to get that install going because the pleasantries are over,” Fowler said on SportsCenter. “… They’ve done their homework. Now they want to get him ready to play because a lot of teams I’ve talked to believe that he’ll be possibly the Week 1 starter.”

Richardson has come a long way over the past few years, capturing the attention of many pundits. The hype surrounding the 20-year-old continued to grow in the lead-up to the 2023 NFL Draft, with a league executive even providing flattering comparisons for him.

A few days before the draft, Richardson’s stock seemed to rise even further, as other league executives branded him as having the highest upside of any quarterback in his draft class. As it turns out, he was the third signal-caller selected in the first round behind Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud.

Only time will tell if Indianapolis does anoint the University of Florida product as the team’s starter right off the bat. Given that the team saw three quarterbacks (Matt Ryan, Sam Ehlinger and Nick Foles) take turns in the starting lineup last season, it would be nice for them to see some stability at the position.

The team has struggled at that position ever since losing Andrew Luck a few years ago.

In addition, the Colts won just four games in the 2022 campaign. They are likely hoping to see major improvements in the win column and become perennial playoff contenders again. Of course, having the right quarterback would be a step in the right direction.

What will help Richardson if he does become the Week 1 starter is that the franchise hired Shane Steichen as its head coach this offseason. The 37-year-old used to serve as the offensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles, where he found success with another athletic and mobile quarterback, Jalen Hurts.

The Eagles star is coming off a season in which he was a finalist for the NFL MVP award and led Philadelphia to a Super Bowl appearance.

Perhaps Steichen can enjoy similar success with Richardson. The Colts organization and its fans certainly hope so.

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Orel's passion for sports stems from following Michael Jordan’s last title runs with the Chicago Bulls and his namesake Orel Hershiser’s Cleveland Indians tenure in the late 1990s.