There are multiple executives in the NFL that believe former University of Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson has the most upside of any quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft.
“Multiple NFL executives told me Richardson has the highest upside of any QB in the draft,” NFL.com’s Cameron Wolfe wrote. “At the combine, he ran a 4.43-second 40-yard dash (fourth-best among QBs since 2003) and recorded a 40.5-inch vertical jump (setting a QB record since ’03) and a 10-foot-9 broad jump (tying the QB mark in that span).
“Sources with knowledge of his results told me that Richardson scored in the ‘top-tier NFL starter’ range (between the 74th and 99th percentiles) on the S2 sports cognitive and processing test that 15 NFL teams use as a draft-evaluation data point, and that he also scored well on the AIQ, a separate mental analytics assessment. Further, he impressed multiple NFL teams in meeting rooms and on the whiteboard during this process, two team sources said.”
It’s interesting to see that some teams are so high on Richardson, especially since Bryce Young is heavily favored to be the No. 1 overall pick to the Carolina Panthers when the draft begins on Thursday, April 27.
Current odds to be the No. 1 overall pick @BetMGM:
-2000: Bryce Young
+1000: C.J. Stroud
+2500: Anthony Richardson pic.twitter.com/H7lG7jFOD0
— Action Network NFL (@ActionNetNFL) April 24, 2023
Richardson is a part of a loaded quarterback class that features Young, C.J. Stroud, Will Levis and Hendon Hooker. There’s a chance all five players could be drafted in the first round on Thursday.
An extremely impressive athlete, Richardson appeared in 12 games for the Florida Gators last season. He completed 176 of his 327 pass attempts (53.8 percent) for 2,549 yards, 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Richardson may not be the best pure passer in this year’s draft, but it is something he can develop in an NFL offense. That may be a reason why he is considered to have the most upside.
As a rusher in the 2022 season for Florida, Richardson carried the ball 103 times for 654 yards and nine touchdowns. As he showed at the combine, he has elite level speed that is rarely found at the quarterback position.
Compared to some previous seasons, this is a fairly deep quarterback draft. Young is a former Heisman Trophy winner, and Stroud has been one of the best college quarterbacks for multiple seasons.
Levis and Richardson appear to be the more unknown quantities, but Richardson clearly has some teams enamored with his physical gifts and impressive IQ.
There are several teams that could use a quarterback in the draft including the Panthers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Atlanta Falcons, Washington Commanders and others.
It would be surprising not to hear Richardson’s name called on the first day of the draft, and it’s possible that he finds himself as a starting quarterback at some point in the 2023 season.