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ESPN thinks Anthony Richardson could have 1st-round draft potential

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With Emory Jones now at Arizona State, Florida football will turn to redshirt sophomore Anthony Richardson at quarterback next season, and there’s no shortage of hype surrounding the Gainesville native after he showed glimpses of elite talent in 2021.

ESPN is joining in on the hype train and has named Richardson one of the top five quarterbacks to watch in next year’s draft class. Mel Kiper Jr. started the talks as the 2021 NFL draft saw just one first-round passer selected, and Jordan Reid is picking it back up.

Ohio State‘s C.J. Stroud and Alabama‘s Bryce Young are the two top names in the class, but Reid like Kentucky’s Will Levis, Miami’s Tyler Van Dyke and Richardson as well in the top five. Florida’s newest starting quarterback is the least experienced on the list, but the hype is strong enough to take notice.

“Richardson will be in a new offense under new coach Billy Napier as he enters his redshirt sophomore season as the unquestioned starter. And Richardson has the potential to generate excitement because of his high-end traits. But right now, it’s simply only that.”

The explosive arm and running ability make him an attractive name at Florida, but things could go sour quickly. It’s not easy to earn a first-round grade and even those who seem like locks can fall to the second and third rounds in an instant.

Decision-making will be crucial this year when it comes to determining whether or not Richardson is ready to take the next step. Interceptions were a problem for both quarterbacks last year, and Richardson doesn’t have the safety net of Jones behind him anymore. He’s the guy.

Jack Miller could step up if things get really bad, but at that point, thinking about the draft would just be silly.

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Emmitt Smith
Emmitt Smith

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