The 2023 NFL Scouting Combine is underway today in Indianapolis and it gives an opportunity for some of the top prospects heading into this year’s draft to show of their skills to NFL scouts around the league. New Orleans has many needs as they head into the offseason with a main priority of finding their quarterback for the future with Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill being the lone quarterbacks on the roster with experience at the position. This year’s QB draft class is filled with talent and if the Saints don’t find their answer through free agency it is expected they will turn their attention to the draft.
The Saints Have Met With Florida QB Anthony Richardson:
Anthony Richardson has seen his odds shift from +10000 to +750 to be the first overall pick, so it is unlikely that he will be available at pick 29 when the Saints are on the clock. Even with that, New Orleans still wants to look into the highly-touted prospect out of Florida that is receiving praise by many scouts throughout the league.
Meeting with Richardson only makes sense for the Saints as there are serious questions marks surrounding the quarterback position with the Saints. Andy Dalton will be hitting the free agency market starting on March 15th when the new league year begins and there is uncertainty if New Orleans will retain the veteran quarterback.
New Orleans has to start turning their attention to the draft, considering they are still over the salary cap, which they have been working on in the offseason continuing to cut down player’s salaries. According to The Score’s Jordan Schultz, The New Orleans Saints are among multiple teams to meet with Florida Gators quarterback prospect Anthony Richardson at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Anthony Richardson’s Career at Florida:
Richardson would burst onto the scene at Florida prior to the start of the 2020 season. He would see limited time during his freshman season in 2020 as he appeared in just four games with the Gators. Richardson would make his collegiate debut against Missouri. Against Missouri, Richardson threw for 27 yards and a touchdown. On the ground, he would add 15 yards on three rushes.
Richardson would decide to use his redshirt after he saw limited action during his first season at Florida, but he would quickly take over the reigns at QB1 heading into the 2021 season. He would appear in eight games for the Gators during his redshirt freshman year and his first start of the season came against Georgia. The Gainesville native would record his first rushing touchdown of his career during Florida’s season opener against Florida Atlantic.
He would become the Gators permanent starting quarterback heading into his final year in Gainesville. During the 2022 season, Richardson finished the year with 2,549 passing yards and 17 touchdowns. The sophomore quarterback would finish second on the team in rushing touchdowns (9) and third in rushing yards (654). For his season-opening performance against Utah, Richardson would be named SEC Offensive Player of the Week and the Davey O’Brien Award Quarterback of the Week.
Against Utah, Richardson rushed for a career-high three touchdowns while completing 17 passes for 168 yards through the air.
Anthony Richardson Scouting Report:
Hear from NFL.com on what tangibles Richardson will bring to a franchise at the next level and what makes him a first-round draft prospect:
“Dual-threat quarterback with an elite physical profile and a lot of work that needs to be done to reach a potentially high ceiling. Richardson’s frame, arm talent and mobility will demand respect as a potential first-round option. He has the ability to make plays on the move that very few of his NFL peers will be able to make. However, but his accuracy on short and simple throws left much to be desired due, in part, to shoddy footwork and inconsistent rhythm.
The footwork issues can be corrected, but the challenge will be determining whether he can be at least a functionally accurate passer at the next level. Richardson’s potential to strike with the deep ball, attack the secondary from sideline to sideline and gash teams with his legs creates greater leeway in his projection as a developmental prospect. Ultimately, he will succeed or fail based on his ability to play with better post-snap recognition and deliver the football with consistency.”
He is able to use his athleticism in both the passing and running game. When his protection breaks down, Richardson is able to use his athleticism to get through all of his progressions. Richardson has the ability to extend plays his rare arm strength separates him from other quarterbacks in the draft class.
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