NFL Draft Profile: Florida QB Anthony Richardson

Richardson is regarded as a high-end talent who may need time to develop
Richardson is regarded as a high-end talent who may need time to develop
Published: Apr. 24, 2023 at 7:06 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -By the end of this week, the next class of NFL hopefuls will become NFL draftees. Over the course of the next three nights, TV20 will be profiling Gators who anticipate having their names called, beginning with quarterback Anthony Richardson. The Gainesville native has been on a bullet train, whose destination is unknown.

The most intriguing prospect in this year’s NFL draft just happens to be a Gator quarterback who grew up in the shadows of the swamp. Richardson is ready for his close-up.

“I’m just thinking about how God has blessed me with this ability, and how much I’m willing to work to be one the best QB’s in the world is definitely a blessing,” said Richardson at Gator Pro Day on March 30.

The product of Eastside High School has dazzled scouts and prognosticators with his speed, arm strength, and imagination--And he doesn’t even turn 21 until May 22.

“I’m continuing to work,” said Richardson. “I’m here at an early age, and not many people get to say that, and I’m thankful.”

Richardson is regarded as a mystery and a project due to his relative inexperience and accuracy. In his lone season as the Gators’ starter, he completed just 53 percent of his passes, including a 9-for-27 performance in his final game against Florida State for the 6-7 Gators. But he is a threat to score every time he runs with the ball, and those touting Richardson believe his passing numbers will also improve once he is surrounded with NFL-level talent.

“A lot of people have their own take about it.,” said Richardson. “But things happen for a reason, I can’t control everything. I feel like I’m a great player, I feel like I’ll end up in a great situation.”

All signs point towards Richardson becoming the 15th Gator chosen in the top 10 in the common draft era, and the first Florida quarterback to be picked that high since Steve Spurrier went third overall 56 years ago. Scenarios include Indianapolis at No. 4 overall, Seattle at No. 5, or perhaps Tennessee 11th.

“Betting on myself was a great decision,” said Richardson. “I don’t believe in hype. That can take you down the wrong tunnel, and I don’t want to go down the wrong tunnel.”

And while there is a belief that Richardson may need time to develop, he says his time has already arrived.

“I don’t know where I’ll end up,” said Richardson. “I don’t know what fit will be the best for me, until that day comes and I’m there, getting information is the best I can do right now.”

And once he gets to the NFL, the best Richardson can do might be good enough to take one lucky team all the way.

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