Anthony Richardson is both rare and classic. He is an absolute specimen. One of the best athletes to ever come out of the NCAA, AND he fulfills every stereotypical dual-threat quarterback trope that has ever been uttered.
The best things in life are not in-balance. The visionaries that change the world are obsessive sociopaths. The astronomers that redefine scientific paradigms are unapologetically insatiable. The only way to reshape the future is to break the current mold. World-changers do this by leaning into their strengths. They hold one dominant trump card and they stack the deck with it. Anthony Richardson's trump card is every bit as powerful as the legendary runners that came before him.
In the play below, Florida attacks with 2 downfield receivers. Utah drops 5 defenders and has everything locked down. But Richardson plays his trump card and turns the dead play into a 45 yard house call. It does not matter what you scheme. Anthony Richardson can storm the castle from anywhere on the field. Richardson is not just fast like Justin Fields and strong like Cam Newton, he's also an elite run strategist. He understands how to frame defenders in space and consistently creates leverage deficiencies while moving at full speed.
In addition to his otherworldly running ability, Richardson flashes significant downfield arm talent. This is not Malik Willis. This is a legit NFL prospect. Here he casually rips this 40 yd dime down the sideline over Kelee Ringo's head. He's physically capable of making any throw.
NFL decision makers will fall in love with him throughout the pre-draft process. He broke every record at the underwear showcase. And he'll do everything they could ask regarding the combine and pro day throws. He's a video game character with a skillset that has only existed in our imagination.
Raw tools are nice, but there needs to be a functional foundation to get a smart coach excited. Running around is nice, but teams will find a way to stop a one-dimensional player. Colin Kaepernicks and Tim Tebows do not last long. A quarterback must show legitimate playmaking ability with his arm. If you need everything in the pass game to fall perfectly into place, then an NFL defense will spy and squeeze you. Everyone runs 4.4. You have to beat them with the ball in the air.
If there's a single play that gives a glimpse into his upside as a thrower, it's this one. Anthony does not hate the pocket. As a general theme, he does a decent job of moving around and keeping the vertical game the priority. Rather than scrambling out to the right, Anthony drives this ball across his body for a big gain, taking everyone by surprise. Play creation. From the pocket.
Here, again, he has an opportunity to run himself to a one-on-one with the nickel (at worst creating a 3rd & short), but he chooses to attack over the top instead and actually makes a great throw. The receiver fails to run through to the ball and the play results in a pass interference, but I like the intent and the execution on Richardson's part. If he maintains this vertical aggression he can be more than a video game character. He can be a real NFL quarterback. He's got the moldable clay that every GM wants to see.
The number one priority for his offseason development needs to be his on-the-move passing. Pass prioritization should be celebrated for QBs like Richardson. But actually hitting the throws is the only thing that really matters. Richardson's strength is running. A good offense will feature him running. A lot. "Leaning into strength" means learning to consistently hit throws while running. Without that ability, the Jalen Hurts/Josh Allen upside is gone. If he picks up that skill, then he can be a persistent threat each and every play. If he stays where he's at, then he won't even see Lamar Jackson's 2k-3k pass yard productivity.
Richardson's bad plays are mind-numbing. He will miss wide open touchdowns.