After nine seasons, the Las Vegas Raiders appear to be moving on from Derek Carr. While Carr’s fate hasn’t been decided yet (trade or cut), it leaves them with a large hole at the position. Luckily for the Raiders, this year’s draft is loaded with quarterback prospects. At seventh overall, Florida’s Anthony Richardson is one they should keep an eye on.
Strengths of Anthony Richardson
A truly gifted athlete, Richardson has natural arm talent that very few possess. This gives him the ability to throw the ball nearly 70 yards due to his pure arm strength, as well as deliver the ball to all areas with velocity. He has the best arm in the class and is capable of making every throw in the book with ease. His arm, combined with his athletic ability, gives him the uncanny ability to throw the ball from a variety of platforms and arm slots.
Outside of structure is where Richardson really succeeds, as he never gives up on a play. When making use of his legs, he is a load to bring down due to his size while also being a good athlete with enough speed and agility to make defenders miss. He will be a huge asset in the designed run game as well. He consistently makes plays out of the pocket through the air as well and does a good job of keeping his eyes down the field.
This is a beaut of a throw on the move from Anthony Richardson. pic.twitter.com/hVGqNViBqf
— Nick Penticoff (@NickPenticoff) January 24, 2023
Weaknesses of Anthony Richardson
Richardson is an interesting case, as almost everything he does well also gives cause for concern. After playing in 24 games in his collegiate career, he is still raw. Willing to take chances that more experienced players wouldn’t, he creates an equal number of bad plays as he does good ones. His accuracy and ball placement as a whole are also works in progress. For every huge throw he makes, there is an easy one he misses. Needless to say, he will need time on the bench at the next level.
NFL Evaluation for Richardson
When NFL evaluators play the tape of Richardson’s time at Florida, they will find a player with all the tools, capable of making game-changing plays in the blink of an eye, but there is much work to be done. He won’t be for everyone, but anyone who is willing to invest time in his development could be rewarded with an elite quarterback. Well worth a first-round pick, it may be a year or more until we see him take his first NFL snaps. However, in the right environment, this will be well worth the wait.
Raiders: How Does He Fit?
In Las Vegas, Richardson would likely be drafted to be the franchise quarterback of the future. In that case, the team would have to add a veteran quarterback to bridge the gap. The most common names mentioned for this role are Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo.
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The Raiders could have Richardson sit for a year, maybe two.
As mentioned, Richardson’s first year is likely to be spent on the bench while he learns the position. Afterward, Las Vegas can hand the keys to the offense over to the most physically gifted quarterback in team history. With players like Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes in the division, the Raiders need a superhuman passer of their own. Of course, Richardson is no sure thing. However, no player ever is in the NFL Draft. If the team is going to take a chance at the position, why not take the most talented one and see if they can win the lottery?
*Top Photo: James Gilbert/Getty Images