Anthony Richardson may be the most polarizing quarterback in the 2023 draft class. He killed his combine workouts and is now the talk of both the scouting and dynasty communities. He is being compared to all-time great athletes like Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III. Is he the next great fantasy quarterback, or are there flaws in his game that will lead to the next top-five bust? Let’s take a deeper look at his profile.
- College: Florida
- Height: 6’4”
- Weight: 244 lbs.
- Hand Size: 10 ½ “
- Age: 21
- Year: Junior
- Draft Projection: Top-Ten Pick
High School & Personal Life
Anthony Richardson is from Gainesville, Florida, and played for Eastside High School. In high school, he threw for 4,633 yards and 37 touchdowns. He also added 1,633 yards and 41 touchdowns on the ground. According to 247Sports, he was the ninth-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the nation and the 36th overall prospect from Florida. Richardson had 17 D1 offers, including Georgia, Michigan, Penn State, and Louisville. He eventually decided to stay in his hometown and committed to the University of Florida on December 18, 2019.
A Tough Start
Anthony Richardson entered college at a very interesting time. Due to COVID, only some football programs were playing. Most conferences across the country were also only playing a conference opponent schedule. With Florida being in the SEC, the level of competition was still high. In this odd season, Anthony Richardson only appeared in three games during the 2020 season and was able to save his redshirt freshman status for 2021. If Richardson wanted to, he could have stayed at Florida until 2024 with the COVID extensions. He could technically be called an early declare.
Waiting In The Wings
He started 2021 behind Emory Jones but was able to see some playing time. That 2021 Florida team was not very good, eventually leading to the firing of head coach Dan Mullen. Anthony Richardson had 64 passing attempts that season which he converted into 38 completion for 529 yards. His big concern was the five interceptions to only six touchdowns. That is a ratio we would want to see improve. He added 400 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.
A Star Is Born
2022 was set up to be the Anthony Richardson show, as he started every game for the Florida Gators. He finished the season with over 2500 passing yards and 17 touchdowns with only nine interceptions. The extremely worrying statistic is the 54 completion percentage. This run included games where Richardson went 14 for 35 and 9 for 27. We will touch on this later, but inaccuracies are a huge ding in this profile. Anthony Richardson added over 600 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns. A dynamic athlete is an understatement.
This clip displays the ceiling outcome for Anthony Richardson and should get dynasty managers excited. With no one open, Richardson easily rips off a 45-yard touchdown run. The combine only confirmed what college football fans knew all season; the kid is an elite athlete. Fantasy managers should be salivating for plays like this, as we see over ten fantasy points added to your team’s total.
Richardson is a big quarterback; this clip shows how he can use that size. He can easily stiff-arm a defender and shed a tackle in one motion. This would have been a loss of over five yards for a more undersized quarterback. Anthony Richardson uses his frame and athleticism to convert this play into a first down.
Escapability In The Pocket
This clip is from the opener against Utah. Anthony Richardson is extremely elusive in the pocket and tough to bring down. Early in the game, Richardson faces pressure and a collapsing pocket. He can easily navigate around the defenders and escape to the boundary side of the field. The pass is eventually incomplete, but much better than taking a sack.
Areas To Improve
In this clip, Anthony Richardson displays some apparent flaws in his decision-making process. He doesn’t recognize the edge rusher staying soft in a zone and tries to whip a ball past him. His target was a player coming out of the backfield in what would have been a first down. Instead, we get a turnover, and Kentucky starts with the ball inside the 10-yard line.
Staring Down Receivers
This is another clip from that Kentucky game. We have a tie game late in the third quarter, and Florida is driving down the field. The pass is going far out on the wide side of the field, and Richardson stares down the route from the moment the ball is snapped. There was also miscommunication with the receiver, but you must recognize the corner on that route. The result was a pick-six that led to a Florida loss.
I don’t have a clip demonstrating Anthony Richardson’s accuracy issues because they are all over his tape. The thought that sums it up best is this; whenever I saw him launch a deep ball while watching tape, my first thought was, oh boy, how much will this throw miss by? And it wasn’t just the deep balls that led to misses; the inaccuracy was at all levels of the field.
Projected Draft Capital & Landing Spots
Before the combine, most in the mock draft community pegged Anthony Richardson as a top-half of the first-round talent. Now that the combine has been completed, Richardson has jumped into the conversation for top-ten and even top-five. I don’t think this is a smokescreen; the kid has all the talent and only takes one team to see the potential.
In the top ten of the NFL draft, there are at least seven teams that I could see justifying Anthony Richardson as a top-ten pick. Some teams like Seattle and Detroit would have him sitting for a year. Other teams may bring in a veteran to allow him time to develop. Some may even start him right away. Regardless of which team takes him, a top-ten selection means he will at least get the chance to prove himself at the next level.
Dynasty Rookie Value
If Anthony Richardson gets drafted in the top ten, it is hard not to justify taking him near the top of Superflex rookie drafts. A dynamic dual-threat quarterback is exactly what fantasy managers should look for in rookie drafts. If he hits his ceiling, Richardson will become one of the top assets in Superflex formats. However, his ceiling is far from guaranteed until he gets his accuracy issues taken care of. He doesn’t crest the 1.01 chair that Bijan sits on, but I am at the point where I am taking all the quarterbacks immediately following Bijan in rookie drafts. Draft capital will help shake out the order of those quarterbacks for me.
Quarterbacks in 1QB leagues should be treated a bit different. In these leagues, the top quarterbacks usually don’t get selected until the second round of rookie drafts. For that reason, Richardson should easily be the top quarterback in the class. The reasoning behind this theory is that the cost of acquiring a veteran replacement, should Richardson not hit his ceiling, is marginal at best. A late first would easily get you a serviceable QB1 for your dynasty team.
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I hope you enjoyed this rookie profile. Be sure to check back often, as I will cover all fantasy-relevant positions. For more content like this, follow me on Twitter @DanT_NFL. DMs are always open for questions, comments, or craft beer recommendations!
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