Why Florida QB Anthony Richardson has what it takes to be the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft

Typically one thing is so noteworthy an exception have to be made to the rule.

And I’ve by no means highlighted a school participant who is not draft eligible, however the ability set of Florida’s redshirt freshman quarterback Anthony Richardson is just too tantalizing to not be put within the highlight. Proper now. 

He is demonstrated No. 1 overall-pick expertise and looks like a mix of Cam Newton and Lamar Jackson. I am severe. 

Richardson and the Gators have a colossal showdown with No. 1-ranked Alabama within the swamp at 3:30pm ET on CBS. That is the primary in what can be a litany of main barometer video games in Richardson’s collegiate profession that may gauge his manufacturing capabilities. 

In two video games this season, because the clear backup to Emory Jones, Richardson has accomplished six of 11 passes for 192 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. And he is been unfathomable on the bottom — 11 carries for 275 with two extra scores, a ridiculous ground-game stat line that features landing runs of 73 and 80 yards. 

Have I discussed Richardson is listed at 6-foot-4 and 236 kilos with a rocket-launcher arm? 

Let me present you what Richardson brings to the sphere each sport. Look away if you happen to’re a defensive fanatic.

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Working mastery

OK, by now, within the yr 2021, we have seen a justifiable share of huge athletic quarterbacks who’re a ache to sort out due to the issues their mass presents for would-be tacklers — assume Newton, Josh Allen, Trevor Lawrence, Trey Lance and Justin Herbert. 

Richardson matches into that class — on the excessive finish. He runs with extra twitch than any of the NFL quarterbacks listed above however nonetheless can drop the hammer on each carry. I imply, how do you cease this? 

For those who’re asking your self “what did I simply watch?” don’t be concerned, I had the very same thought, too. 

Discover not solely how outrageous jump-cutting the defender behind the road was however Richardson’s burst after it to blow up up the sphere. Then two defenders had him corralled. Or they thought they did. He side-stepped the primary would-be tackler, swiped away the following whereas singing Jay-Z’s “On To The Subsequent One” in his head. Then to cap every thing, a profitable hurdle — with basically no time to assemble his momentum — to get the primary down. 

As if that wasn’t awe-inspiring sufficient, here is Richardson eluding a free exterior rusher, accelerating by house earlier than ending with a full head of steam by a Florida Atlantic defender previous the sticks. 

The preliminary motion on that play was, once more, genuinely freaky, and the extent of bend and pace at which he turned the nook into the second was paying homage to an F1 automobile staying on a winding highway. 

For those who’re a skeptic at coronary heart, you might notice Richardson’s fast for his dimension however assume he is doubtless not that quick due to all of the mass he is carrying. That assumption could be unsuitable.

Late within the throttling of FAU, Richardson stored it on one other innocuous-looking zone-read. All he wanted was one kick-out block — which he obtained — and, yeah, he was gone. 

However perhaps that was too simple, proper? The lead block did pave the way in which by a large operating lane. I’ve supplied a 73-yard Richardson landing in opposition to FAU and can increase you an 80-yard speeding rating final week in opposition to South Florida. Rather more tough. 

Richardson shrugged off a tackler in his grill simply previous the road of scrimmage, effortlessly stiff-armed a defensive again on the 35 then it was time for a home name. 

Arm expertise

Richardson has seen some schemed-open receivers on his 11 go makes an attempt by two video games — and he is undoubtedly a uncooked passer as a redshirt freshman — however he is made probably the most of his alternatives throwing the ball. 

Right here in opposition to FAU, a flick of the wrist and it is 35 yards downfield up and over the beneath cornerback for a splash play. 

Then simply final week in opposition to South Florida he put a pair of dimes on movie. Each had added aptitude because of his athletic items. On the primary, Richardson faked a designed run then launched the ball 40 yards whereas nearly fading away from the go with a defender launching into his entrance hip.

Nice play, proper? Not phenomenal, although. This subsequent bucket throw was. After gliding to his proper and feeling an oncoming edge rusher, Richardson floated left and was met by a pair of front-seven defenders. As they collided with him, Richardson launched the ball deep down the sphere. It landed gorgeously over the cornerback and into his receiver’s arms simply earlier than he ran out of bounds. 

Now that was the definition of arm expertise. 

Richardson did tweak his hamstring in opposition to South Florida on his 80-yard landing, however head coach Dan Mullen provided a “favorable update” on his star backup Tuesday, insinuating the damage was minor and that the hulking quarterback would follow within the week main as much as the conflict in opposition to Alabama. 

Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide have taken down a mess of extremely proficient quarterbacks over the previous 15 years. However Richardson has a respectable case for being probably the most bodily gifted. He is not eligible till the 2023 NFL Draft. Nevertheless, I’ve a sense these GIFs are actually burned into your mind and can be simply accessible for recall subsequent yr. | Why Florida QB Anthony Richardson has what it takes to be the No. 1 decide within the 2023 NFL Draft


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