C.J. Stroud and Anthony Richardson will throw at the combine, while Bryce Young won’t
We now have a better idea of which star quarterback prospects will go through all the drills at the 2023 scouting combine.
Per Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, both Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud and Florida’s Anthony Richardson will throw in the drills at Lucas Oil Stadium, and Richardson will also participate in all other drills like the 40-yard dash, while Alabama’s Bryce Young will wait until his pro day on March 23.
Meanwhile, Florida QB Anthony Richardson plans to throw and do all testing and drills, per source. A showcase for the physically gifted Richardson, who has a chance to rise through the pre-draft process. https://t.co/mTgq6sANxa
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) February 27, 2023
Young has little to nothing to prove as a thrower or as a runner after his incendiary collegiate career; he’s the consensus No. 1 prospect at the position. The only real question about Young can be answered at the combine: How tall is he officially, and what does he weigh? Young’s unofficial height of 6-foot-0 and unofficial weight of 194 both make him outliers in the modern NFL. If he measures in shorter and lighter than that… well, there will be conversations in NFL offices about that, though Young’s on-field performances should still win the day.
Non-breaking news: Bryce Young is good. pic.twitter.com/v4AhYlBQnc
— Doug Farrar ✍ (@NFL_DougFarrar) February 26, 2023
As for Stroud, he could benefit from the expansion of the perception of him as a do-it-all quarterback following his performance against Georgia in the College Football Semifinal. In that game, Stroud broke out of his history as a pure pocket quarterback, and made several amazing throws on the run. If he’s able to do all of that again without all those incredible defenders chasing him (the odds are good), Stroud could go into the rest of the draft process as a virtually ding-proof prospect. Stroud has an unofficial height of 6-foot-3 and a weight of 215, so there’s no problem there, and his ball placement, velocity, and field-reading put him on the same level as Young.
Richardson is the real wild-card here. We know about his amazing athleticism and fantastic deep arm; the question will be how well he does with the more nuanced throws after just one year as a college starter. Richardson showed a ton of improvement through the 2022 season, but there are still legitimate questions about his ability to make every throw at the NFL level. Of course, throwing at the combine won’t really answer those questions, but a high-level performance will really help, and had Richardson chosen to wait until his pro day, he probably never would have heard the end of it, so a wise decision there.
Throwing at the scouting combine and at your pro day are two entirely different experiences. At the combine, you’re throwing to receivers you’ve never thrown to before, and the kinds of passes you’re asked to throw are part of a fixed set of drills. At your pro day, your performance coach is there, you’re throwing to receivers you’ve been throwing to for a long time, and you decide which kinds of throws will happen, though the script will be accentuated by the requests of NFL teams.