Anthony Richardson aspires to leave legendary legacy
There may not be a more polarizing prospect than Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson in the 2023 NFL draft, and the Indianapolis Colts will have to weigh the risks against the rewards of selecting him come late April.
Richardson profiles as a prospect with arguably the highest ceiling in the clas among the quarterbacks. His ability to create offense with his legs gives him a nice floor to lean on while his tape is littered with impressive throws to all levels of the field.
However, there are other question marks surrounding his game. He only has one season as a starter at Florida as a redshirt sophomore and many analysts point to his 53.8% completion rate as a major red flag.
Richardson can’t do anything about his lack of experience as a starter, but he has spent the last few months working on his mechanics to improve his accuracy.
“Using my arm, using my hips, using my feet, you know, just tying it all together and being consistent,” Richardson said at the NFL Scouting Combine on Friday. “Using my hips. A lot of people say I have a big arm, and I do believe so, but you can’t just muscle the ball around all day — that’s not gonna work. You gotta be tuned up, you gotta be tuned in with your mechanics.”
Richardson is expected to test at an elite level when the quarterbacks take the field Saturday. The athleticism and game-breaking talent as a runner is not in question when it comes to his draft profile.
The rate of development he needs at the NFL level is something that scouts and front office executives will have to weigh when they are on the clock in the first round of the draft. Some consider Richardson a project at the position. He doesn’t see it that way.
“I don’t even know what that means, ‘project label,’ ” Richardson said. “I’m willing to bring anything and everything that they need from me. I’m gonna work, I’m gonna be dedicated to my craft, I’m gonna be a leader in that organization. Just growing and continue to grow.”
Being dedicated to the craft is exactly what the Colts want to hear. It’s one of the main aspects new head coach Shane Steichen has harped on throughout the first month of his tenure.
And while it’s true general manager Chris Ballard won’t survive a flop at the quarterback position if he misses on whichever prospect he drafts in April, he also can’t afford to take the safe route either. That’s how we ended up here in the first place.
One might argue that capturing and developing Richardson’s elite upside is the only way to save Ballard’s chances of sustaining a longer career as the general manager of the Colts.
Drafting a legendary quarterback would save any general manager’s career, and that’s exactly the type of legacy Richardson wants to leave behind.
“I wanna be a legend,” Richardson said. “I wanna be like Patrick Mahomes, I wanna be like Tom Brady — I wanna be one of the greats, you know, I will be one of the greats because I’m willing to work that hard and get to that point.”
We may not know who the Colts favor the most at the position until the draft eventually arrives, but Richardson certainly checks the box of being dedicated to the craft.