INDIANAPOLIS – Hope is finally alive again in Indianapolis at the most important position in sports.
With the 4th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Colts took Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson in Round One.
Here are 3 takeaways on Richardson:
1. Salivating Physical Gifts
In Richardson, the Colts are getting a quarterback with the physical gifts you dream about. And one with major confidence in becoming a great one. The size (6-4, 236), the speed (4.43 40-yard dash), and arm strength to reach every level of the field. Even while Richardson tries to grow as a passer, he immediately walks into the NFL giving the Colts a huge advantage in the run-game at the quarterback position. The Colts, whenever they turn to Richardson under center, are instantly a more dynamic offense in that facet of the game, one in which Shane Steichen has recent success with (along with QB coach Cam Turner). Richardson’s one year at Florida had some serious highs, yet also quite a few lows, and it’s extremely rare to see a QB with such limited experience go this high in a draft.
2. Needed Shane Steichen Accuracy Development
Clearly, the Colts think there’s some necessary context around Anthony Richardson’s ugly looking 53.8 completion percentage from last year in Florida. This pick is also banking on Shane Steichen’s believe that accuracy can be improved/developed. You don’t make this selection without major belief in your coaching staff, particularly the play caller. Steichen’s resume is quite impressive working with various QBs, but all 3 of them (Philip Rivers, Justin Herbert, Jalen Hurts) entered the league on a much higher accuracy floor than Richardson. Does Richardson need to become a 70 percent passer to reach elite status in the NFL? No. But he has to certainly improve here if he’s going to reach a high-level, sustainable career, into his 30s. At just 20 years of age (Richardson turns 21 next month), Richardson’s attraction also includes him as one of the younger prospects in the draft, one that will be hitting his second contract in his mid-20s.
3. Finally Down The Right QB Path
It was time for the Colts to take a swing at the most important position in sports. Every AFC team has drafted a quarterback in the first three rounds since the Colts last did (2012-Andrew Luck, Chandler Harnish). This selection gives Shane Steichen something to work with and allows for the potential to have a long-term answer at QB. Now the question becomes how the Colts want to handle the quarterback depth chart this fall and how much they want to play their rookie signal caller in Year One. Gardner Minshew, Sam Ehlinger and (for some reason) Nick Foles are still on the Colts roster.
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