Top 5 or teens? USA TODAY Sports sees two possible twists for Anthony Richardson
The 88th annual edition of the 2023 NFL draft kicks off in Kansas City, Missouri, on Thursday, April 27, and runs until Saturday, April 29, with the first round of picks coming on the opening night. Among the many set to test their luck in the amateur selection program are a handful of former Florida Gators (10 to be precise) who have committed to the pro ranks.
Hours ahead of the draft, USA TODAY Sports’ Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz published his 10 potential twists that could create chaos in the 2023 NFL draft’s first round — a narrative that includes UF standout quarterback Anthony Richardson. Middlehurst-Schwartz has two possible scenarios set for the Gainesville native, as seen below.
Will Levis or Anthony Richardson land in top five …
Both of the former SEC quarterbacks are immensely physically gifted with upper-echelon arm strength and excellent mobility (more so for Richardson, who dazzled at the combine with his 4.43-second 40-yard dash). Good luck, however, trying to pin down a perfect fit for either one. Levis has been linked to the Colts for some time, and Richardson still could be in play there as well. And if either one has a particularly high mark from a team further back in the order, there could be sufficient motivation for a trade with either the Cardinals or Seahawks.
… Levis and/or Richardson fall into the teens
In the flip side to the aforementioned scenario, it’s difficult to establish an exact floor in the first round for either passer. Maybe teams like the Tennessee Titans (No. 11), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (No. 19) or Minnesota Vikings (No. 23) would be more compelled to scoop up a potential long-term solution behind center if they didn’t need to orchestrate a trade up the board to do so. And the trio of teams with two first-round picks — the Texans, Lions and Seahawks — might be intrigued if an option falls into their lap. Still, if either Levis or Richardson makes it past 12, an awkward and extended wait could be ahead.
The most recent UF alumni taken in the first round of the draft are cornerback Kaiir Elam (2022, No. 23), tight end Kyle Pitts (2021, No. 4), wide receiver Kadarius Toney (2021, No. 20) and cornerback CJ Henderson (2020, No. 9).
The NFL draft begins on Thursday night at 8 p.m. EDT and can be followed on ABC, ESPN and the NFL Network.
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