Last week in my Will Levis scouting report we discussed that even if the Seahawks re-sign Geno Smith this offseason, he is not the long-term answer at quarterback. In this week’s quarterback scouting report, we are going to evaluate what Florida’s Anthony Richardson brings to the table as a player both in the short- and long-term.
Height - 6 foot 4 - Weight - 232 pounds
- His best attribute in the passing game is his ability to extend the play like few quarterbacks can. On play action roles where Richardson is going out of the pocket, he is able to beat unblocked defenders from any level to the edge, allowing him a shot at getting the ball out without any defenders at his feet. Richardson does a fantastic job of keeping his eyes down field when he is leaving the pocket in order for him to remain a passer first for as long as possible.
- When escaping the pocket on the move Richardson shows off his very good (7 on 1-9 scale) ability to make throws on the move. He maintains a strong base allowing him to not lose any of his excellent (8) arm strength when he is going to his right.
- In the intermediate passing game Richardson displays the ability to accurately layer passes over defenders or to redirect receivers away from hits/to open throwing lanes making it an easier throw and completion.
- He does show an ability to make anticipation throws against zone coverage and throws where the receiver is in a triangle of defenders. There were multiple wow throws that Richardson made against zone coverage both stationary and on the move that many NFL quarterbacks do not have the ability to pull off.
- He has the vision of a running back on QB power run to the outside. When defenders are able to outflank his blockers, he is patient waiting for a cutback lane to hit before he turns it up field.
- He has the ability to make defenders miss in the open field and in tight areas. He also features a stiff arm which allows him to avoid defenders that are trying to wrap him up low.
- He is a bit quick to leave the pocket as his feet have a tendency to get tight when pressured. Richardson far too often does not reset his feet once he picks them up to slide because of pressure. Rather than sliding away from the pressure and then sitting in the pocket, Richardson opts to instead try and exit the pocket as quickly as possible.
- When rolling to his right he has a tendency to drop his arm slot and throwing shoulder a bit on the move, which causes him to drag some of his throws away from the intended target. Because of this a throw that would be in stride to a receiver breaking to the sideline ends up being a bit inside which results in either an incompletion or stopping the receiver entirely resulting in no YAC.
- In the short passing game for the most part he is accurate, although there were too many simple throws he missed that have to be completed or at least on target at the NFL level. On some instances when Richardson is throwing to his left that he almost fades his upper body to the target so his front shoulder leaks to the left which results in inaccurate passes.
- As a deep ball passer Richardson struggles mightily. His deep balls have a tendency to float as he flicks them out of his hand and does not get the proper angle with his shoulders in order to apply the correct amount of loft on the throw. He can effortlessly throw the ball 60+ yards but in order for him to make it a weapon in his arsenal he needs to work on his mechanics when throwing them. The overall ball placement of them as well leaves a lot to be desired.
- Richardson locks onto his first read way too often, sometimes following them across the field.
- When there was a called deep shot, Richardson would never come off of it no matter how blanketed the deep receiver was. There were multiple instances in which he could come off of that receiver to find a checkdown who was in acres of space, but he refused to.
- In terms of his eyes Richardson did not use them to look off a defender who was in zone to free up a receiver.
Grade (First day of his second season) - Circumstantial starter - Late first early second
Richardson’s very good (8) arm strength, ability to throw on the run, athleticism and mobility (7) give him the ceiling of a high-end quarterback who can compete for multiple MVPs, however his inconsistent accuracy and mechanics, questionable decision making and struggles against the blitz give him the floor of a career backup QB.
Richardson is an extremely tough evaluation as a player and is maybe the most difficult of this class. There are flashes that he shows which will cause at least one team to fall in love with him and likely take him in the first round. However, for every one of those flash plays there are five or more frustrating players whether those plays be one where he locks onto his read or delivers a poor ball on a throw that has to be a completion. It is important to keep in mind that Richardson is extremely raw as a player. He has only attempted 393 passes in his collegiate career. For reference, Bryce Young, the top QB in the class has attempted 949 passes for Alabama. Because of his inexperience I gave him a late first/early second grade as that is traditionally where we see the rawer quarterbacks who have sky-high ceilings get selected.