Anthony Richardson a top-5 pick in latest ESPN mock draft

Anthony Richardson a top-5 pick in latest ESPN mock draft

The Carolina Panthers recently traded for the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming 2023 NFL draft, and several draft experts are theorizing that former Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson could be the selection come April 27.

ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay isn’t quite ready to project Richardson as the top pick, but he has heard some buzz about the former Gators after a strong combine performance. Still, McShay has Alabama quarterback Bryce Young coming off the board first overall to the Panthers in his latest mock draft.

McShay has Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud going second in the draft, but Richardson is the next signal-caller he has coming off the board at No. 4 to the Indianapolis Colts.

“It’s time for a long-term solution at QB for the Colts, considering no team scored fewer points than Indianapolis (15.8 per game) last season, the team’s fifth straight season with a new Week 1 starter under center,” McShay said. “And the Richardson hype train is just hitting full steam, plowing through Indianapolis last week…

“His physical traits are exciting, and if coach Shane Steichen can work with him on his footwork and accuracy, the sky’s the ceiling.”

Richardson’s draft stock is peaking at the right time, and a strong pro-day performance could serve as fuel for an already raging fire.

Of course, there’s another former Florida player that could be selected in the first round, All-American offensive guard O'Cyrus Torrence. He’s expected to be the first guard off the board in this draft, but he could fall to the second round.

McShay thinks his best shot at jumping into the first round is at No. 27 when Buffalo picks. He has the Bills taking former Georgia Tech outside linebacker Keion White, but Torrence is one of a few offensive line options listed as alternatives.

There are just six weeks left until the draft officially begins, so these mocks are starting to get closer to what the actual draft will look like but no projections are ever perfect.

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Story originally appeared on Gators Wire