The Pros and Cons of the Vikings Potentially Drafting QB Anthony Richardson
The 2023 NFL Draft is getting closer every day, and the class looks to have a few promising quarterback prospects within it. One prospect that has been linked to the Vikings all the way back to September is Florida QB Anthony Richardson. The QB certainly brings one of the more intriguing skillsets of any player in this draft, but should the Vikings really go “all-in” to draft him? Today, we’ll be going over some of the pros and cons of the Vikings potentially drafting Richardson.
Pro: His Athletic Profile Is Dynamic
First and foremost, Richardson is an extremely intriguing prospect because of his athleticism. He stands at 6’4, weighs around 235 pounds, has extremely impressive arm strength, and is a very mobile QB. Many folks have comped him to Josh Allen, and it is very apt comparison when you watch him make plays like this:
Regardless of comparison, Richardson is an alien. He does things on a football field that very few people can do, and for that reason alone, fans should be intrigued by the idea of drafting him.
Con: He Needs a Lot of Development
As much positive as Richardson brings in terms of his physical profile, he still has a lot to learn about the nuances of quarterbacking. He can be very erratic as a passer, evidenced by games against Georgia and Kentucky in 2022.
Richardson needs to become far more consistent as a passer in order to find success as an NFL QB. If he replaces some of the poor decision making and inaccurate throws with more of the incredible, wizard-like plays that are displayed all over his highlight reels, we have the makings of an outstanding QB.
Pro: The Vikings Try to Find a QB
At some point, we have to accept that the Vikings are going to take a chance at a QB in the draft, and that it is a good thing. Especially as Kirk Cousins’ current contract comes to an end following the 2023 season, and all signs suggest he will only get more expensive next offseason, Minnesota needs to commit to a replacement. Perhaps Richardson could be that replacement.
Con: It Will Take a Lot of Draft Capital to Land Him
Richardson’s draft stock is only going to continue to keep rising in the months ahead of the draft. He’ll likely put up ridiculous results at the scouting combine next week, and we should be prepared for the Vikings needing to trade into the top 10 in order to pick him.
A reality that comes with moving from No. 23 into the top 10 is the fact that it’ll likely take multiple future first-round picks in order to do so, especially considering other teams could be looking to move up as well (New Orleans Saints, for example).
If you are of the mindset that with time Richardson could be a potential star, then this is probably less of a concern. However, if you are wary of any of the inconsistencies in his game, this likely becomes a much more daunting prospect.
Pro: We Should Trust Kevin O’Connell to Develop a QB
Look at some of the things Kevin O’Connell was able to do with a 34-year-old Kirk Cousins in 2022 that helped the Vikings become a winning team last season. If he can teach new tricks to an old dog in the NFL, why should we believe that he can’t do the same with a rookie QB that has one season of college football experience?
Richardson hasn’t even come close to reaching his full potential, and with a former NFL QB as his head coach, an offensive line anchored by two of the better offensive tackles in the league, and Justin Jefferson and T.J. Hockenson as two of his main targets, there aren’t too many situations better suited for developing a young QB than Minnesota.
Ultimately, I still have my doubts that the Vikings will move the amount of draft capital that could be necessary to take Richardson, but if they pull that trigger, there are few prospects that carry a ceiling as high as he does.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.