Vikings Draft Thermometer: QB Anthony Richardson
Welcome to the Vikings Draft Thermometer series, PurplePTSD‘s one-stop shop for all your 2023 NFL Draft needs. Throughout this series, we will be examining a number of prospects ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft, analyzing their strengths, weaknesses, what exactly their role could be at the NFL level, and most importantly, whether or not they could end up playing their first NFL snaps in a Vikings uniform. With that, let’s take a look at today’s prospect: Florida QB Anthony Richardson.
- Height: 6’4
- Weight: 235 pounds
- School: Florida
- Games Watched: Utah (2022), Georgia (2022), LSU (2022)
- 2020: 1/2 (50.0%), 27 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT (3 games)
- 2021: 38/64 (59.4%), 529 yards, 6TDs, 5 INTs (7 games)
- 2022: 176/327 (53.8%), 2549 yards, 17 TDs, 9 INTs (12 games)
In terms of athletic potential, there is no QB better than Anthony Richardson. Physically, the dude has it all. He’s built like a freight train with a bazooka for an arm. His combination of size and speed make him a massive threat as a runner. He’s not going to be a type of guy that gets a few yards and just slides down, either. He’s going to plow through as many defenders as he has to in order to gain extra yards.
That being said, Richardson also is slippery enough to avoid contact altogether in some instances. Then, when he’s in the open field, good luck chasing him down. The Florida QB accelerates quickly, and he can run with the best of them.
On top of that, Richardson has ridiculous arm strength. Throwing the ball 50+ yards downfield isn’t going to be a problem for him, and if he has the right group of receivers around him, a team with Richardson at QB could create a lot of headaches for opposing defenses.
For all the physical gifts that Richardson has, there’s one thing that could derail it all: accuracy. You can see it with his completion percentage, but that won’t tell the whole story. It’s easy to pin the problems on some lackluster receiver talent on the Gators roster, but much of this blame remains with Richardson.
There are far too many instances where Richardson overthrows or underthrows receivers. On screen passes, you’ll see him launch a ball 5 feet over his receiver’s head, or if his target manages to haul in the pass, it’s behind the receiver, causing them to lose all momentum.
In order for Richardson to be worthy of that top 10 selection that some people believe that he will get, it is critical that he improves some of the nuances of quarterbacking. If he does, there’s superstar potential. If he doesn’t, he could quickly be run out of the league.
- Draft Round: Top 10-Early Second
- Immediate Role: Backup QB behind a veteran (Trey Lance-esque) or starting QB on a rebuilding team
- Best Case Scenario: Cam Newton
- Vikings Draft Temperature (0= no interest, 100= get him a purple jersey now): 30
Because of his potential for superstardom, it seems unrealistic that Anthony Richardson falls all the way down to the Vikings in the first round. Even if he does, I still feel that defense is a bigger need than a QB of the future right now. However, there’s always the chance that Kevin O’Connell has his eye on this guy and wants to create an offense around him alongside star WR Justin Jefferson. It would certainly be a dynamic duo if things work out.
Vikings Draft Thermometer: WR Jalin Hyatt
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.