Gators’ Anthony Richardson headlines quarterbacks to watch at the 2023 NFL Combine | You Pod to Win the Game
In a recent discussion of QB’s top prospects at the upcoming NFL merge, Sportzshala Sports’ Charles McDonald and Football Outsiders’ Derrick Klassen shared their thoughts on whether Florida’s Anthony Richardson could potentially be the top pick in the draft this April.
CHARLES MACDONALD: Anthony Richardson, Florida quarterback. If Anthony Richardson works, it’s going to be one of the best quarterback workouts, right?
DERRICK CLASSES: Man, he’s gonna be a super athlete if he doesn’t test everything. I mean, he can run in fours. He will be explosive as hell when he jumps. His three cones and all can probably be pretty good. He is one of the best athletes we have seen in this position.
I think Fields has been pretty comparable lately. And since Cam, that’s probably about it. Those are the two guys, just in terms of physical skill set.
CHARLES MACDONALD: Yes, he is one of those guys that you create in Madden and try to turn into a real X-factor quarterback. But if I were Anthony Richardson, I would really see no reason not to train here. With combined training and the way athletes prepare for this unique event, I don’t see why you can’t run four triples just based on… I mean, we’ve seen him run away from the whole college a few times. protection, and make guys who are much smaller than him look slow.
So I wouldn’t be surprised if I see him running in fours. And then once you get into throwing drills, all you have to do is just show that you have a pitcher’s hand and you can actually throw it. [BLEEP] all around the field. So what I’m thinking is if he’s testing, and he’s in shape, and he goes out into the boardroom, and shows progress there, and is able to impress the teams? I think we might start hearing some legitimate number one pick talk about him, kind of like we heard about Josh Allen in his year where you look at production and some things and it’s not clean. .
But the skill set is really hard to ignore when you think about NFL coaches and their ability to potentially shape something out of it.
DERRICK CLASSES: Yeah. If he does business at the plant, I think he especially likes it at meetings and stuff. Because I think that when you watch a movie, there are some inconsistencies, only one year of start. But if he kills it on the board, and in meetings, and in teams, he really likes him, there really is no reason why he should not be considered as such.
Because if you’re that kind of athlete and you can really shine on the board and prove that maybe some of the inconsistencies in Florida were just the result of circumstance, then I don’t know, man. You will be something else. Because as much as I love a guy like CJ Stroud as a quarterback, the ceiling for Richardson is Josh Allen.
It seems crazy. We’re going to do this to every guy that looks like this. But it’s legal what you’re shooting for.
CHARLES MACDONALD: Yeah. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Alabama quarterback Bryce Young is definitely not 6’4″, 240 pounds. And I think that’s probably going to be one of the most important moments of the whole unification, just weighing it. It is not known whether he is going to run, throw or do other tests, but his number at the weigh-in will be decisive.
What a big hurdle… I know we talked about this with Nick Tice last week. But first, how big of a hurdle is his size when looking at his NFL prediction? Second, what size should we expect it to be next week?
DERRICK CLASSES: I mean, I think it’s pretty bad. Because I think you can only start with growth. I think in terms of height, height almost always affects the style of play for quarterbacks. And I think Young is doing a good job playing out of pocket in college and so on, maybe a little better than even Kyler Murray.
But once you get into the NFL, things are a little different. Guys are bigger and it will be a bit more difficult. And I think he’s already a natural guy who wants to get out of his pocket. Because when you’re 5’10, it’s just easier to see when you’re out of your pocket. And I think that this style of play will be very difficult for him. Because he’s a good athlete, but he’s not Kyler Murray. He’s not like Russell Wilson, he’s closer to an Alex Smith type of athlete, and that’s okay.
But when you’re talking about a guy who could be first overall, that’s not enough in my opinion. And then, in terms of weight, I expect him to be around 190, 195. Because he’s probably going to try to put on some weight for the combine and stuff. But if it’s less than 205, I’m very worried. Even one hit won’t knock him out and he’ll break his knee or something.
But it’s really hard to endure years and years of punishment at the NFL level when you’re under 205 pounds. We already see it with Kyler Murray. Kyler Murray gets hit all the time and is even fatter than I think Bryce Young will probably ever be. So this is really my deal with Bryce Young, I think in the short term he could be a really good player. It’s just that in the long run it’s hard for me to imagine that he will be a high-level player in seven years.