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NFL Draft Rewind: No. 7 Anthony Richardson

Anthony Richardson
Anthony Richardson (AP Images)

The NFL Draft kicks off with its opening round on April 27 in Kansas City, so Rivals is taking a look back at its projected first-round picks when they were high school prospects.

We move on to our projected No. 7 - Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson, who was bumped up to a four-star during his senior season of high school.

Richardson is yet another alum of the Rivals Camp Series – in fact, five of our top seven NFL Draft projections competed and helped make their name at our camps.

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No. 7: QB Anthony Richardson, Florida  


Where they were ranked: For most of his recruitment, the Gainesville (Fla.) Eastside dual-threat quarterback was a three-star prospect, but in December of his senior season Richardson was bumped to four-star status inside the Rivals250. He finished as the sixth-best dual-threat QB in a 2020 class led by Bryce Young. A few years later, it’s clear he should’ve been even higher on that list.

Recruitment: Richardson originally committed to Florida during the summer before his junior season, but he backed off that pledge as Penn State and others made a run at the Gainesville Eastside standout while the Gators kept recruiting Carson Beck, among others. But after a couple months and reassurance he was the guy for the 2020 class, Richardson re-committed to Florida.

Biggest draft question: The concern with Richardson is accuracy. There is no questioning his size, his athletic and playmaking ability, but Richardson completed just 54.7 percent of his passes at Florida and had a 24/15 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

Anthony Richardson in 2018
Anthony Richardson in 2018 (Nick Lucero/

Memories: Richardson is who Richardson was.

That’s my biggest memory about the four-star quarterback is that he was a physical specimen and looked great during his high school days – although he has definitely bulked up since getting to Florida. He had a tremendously strong arm, but also was a little wild and threw a few too many picks.

I remember Richardson coming through the National Combine registration day in San Antonio as part of the All-American Bowl week and he definitely stood out in the hotel. He was tall and looked great. Then on the field, he zipped the ball everywhere – some sailed on him and missed their mark.

That continues to be the case with Richardson up to draft night. He is a freakish athlete with incredible physical tools that have been developed in the SEC, but his accuracy has not come together and he throws too many interceptions. That could turn off some NFL teams but others might fall in love with his athletic ability and think they can fix him, because he did go through multiple coaches at the college level.

A few months ago, I talked with the father of LSU four-star quarterback commit Colin Hurley, who trained with Richardson in Jacksonville.

He raved about the Florida quarterback as a physical specimen and that was on display at the NFL Combine. While there is versatility in what kinds of offenses he can run, the question remains whether Richardson can sit in the pocket and accurately run an offense by completing passes down the field and not turn the ball over.

It’s been the question from his high school days, through college and it remains up to now.