Two Florida Gators in latest USA TODAY Sports’ NFL mock draft
With the 2023 NFL draft just over nine weeks away, all eyes are on the quarterback situation. The USA TODAY Sports’ latest mock draft has four quarterbacks going in the first ten picks, with Florida’s Anthony Richardson being the third signal caller taken.
With the No. 8 overall pick, Nate Davis is projecting Richardson will suit up for the Atlanta Falcons. In this scenario, the Falcons would be reuniting Richardson with former Florida tight end Kyle Pitts, whom the Falcons took with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft. While the two players did not interact on the field, the 2020 season saw Pitts and Richardson cross paths as teammates with Pitts in his final season in Gainesville and Richardson as a true freshman on campus.
Here is what Davis said about Richardson being the Falcons’ potential first-round pick.
Should be a fascinating offseason in the ATL, where the Falcons are positioned to make a splash in free agency and should challenge for the NFC South title in 2023. Yet, even though QB Desmond Ridder is coming off his rookie season, Atlanta – owner Arthur Blank had his team in the running for Deshaun Watson last year – will have a prime opportunity to reinvest at the position with a talent like Richardson. At 6-4, 232 pounds with a huge arm and the ability to bowl over or outrun defenders, the skill set is tantalizing. He could also clearly benefit from a season (or more) to marinate under HC Arthur Smith and work on his accuracy while the less physically gifted Ridder’s evaluation continues. But Smith’s penchant for extracting the most from his players and the prospect of Richardson eventually joining an offense with several promising young players could make him hard to bypass.
In addition to projecting Richardson to go in the top ten, Davis is projecting 2022 consensus All-American offensive guard O'Cyrus Torrence to be the No. 20 overall pick, finding a home with the Seattle Seahawks. Torrence was a vital part of the Gators’ elite rushing attack, anchoring an offensive line that struggled before his arrival on campus last season.
Here is what Davis had to say about Torrence’s potential west coast move:
Seattle still gave up too many sacks in 2022 – can’t blame Wilson for those – and could also use a mauler to further Pete Carroll’s desire to run the ball with RB Kenneth Walker III and Co.
With Geno Smith’s breakout season and Kenneth Walker’s emergence as RB1 in the pacific northwest, the Seahawks would be thrilled to see Torrence on the board in the back half of the first round. Doubted by many before the season, Seattle made the playoffs last season. Adding an elite talent like Torrence could be what the Seahawks need to push them forward.
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