What is Anthony Richardson's draft stock? More NFL Draft experts have him going Top 5

Dan Rorabaugh
Gator Sports

One of the biggest mysteries leading up to the 2023 NFL Draft is how high Anthony Richardson could go.

The tools are all there for the former Florida Gators quarterback. The Gainesville native threw for 2,549 yards and 17 touchdowns in his first and only full season as the starter. He also has the much-sought running ability of the modern QB, rushing for 1,116 yards and 12 scores across three college seasons. But he also has a history of injuries and subpar play, completing under 55% of his passes and throwing 15 interceptions in his college career.

There are plenty of teams looking for quarterbacks. The Carolina Panthers started Baker Mayfield, P.J. Walker and Sam Darnold throughout their 7-10 campaign. The New York Jets are among the favorites to land Aaron Rodgers but could look for backup plans in the draft. The Baltimore Ravens might be ready to move on from Lamar Jackson. And of course, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will need to replace Tom Brady (unless former Gator Kyle Trask is the answer).

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Here's where NFL draft experts predict Richardson will land:

Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN: Seattle Seahawks at No. 9 (via trade)

Here's a team that could afford to take a developmental quarterback with elite upside. Seattle has said it wants to bring back veteran Geno Smith, but what if the organization uses the franchise tag on Smith, plays him for a season and adds Richardson to take over in 2024? That'd be the ideal scenario for Richardson, a raw passer who completed just 53.8% of his throws last season but has incredible ability as a runner. He had 17 touchdown passes and added nine more scores on the ground. At 6-4, Richardson has the type of arm strength that makes NFL coaches drool. If he gets into the right situation — and isn't forced to play early — he could be a star.

Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports: Indianapolis Colts at No. 1

I only expect to change this pairing when there is pertinent news that either another team wants to move up for someone other than Richardson or the Colts are out on the Florida quarterback altogether. Richardson with Shane Steichen makes so much sense.

Doug Farrar, Touchdown Wire: Seahawks at No. 5 (via trade)

Is he a work in progress as a pure passer? Yes, but perhaps to a smaller degree than you may think, and if Richardson is in a situation where he can learn from a veteran quarterback and doesn’t have to start right away, the return on investment could be something we’ve never seen before. Imagine a guy with Cam Newton’s size, Michael Vick’s speed, and Josh Allen’s arm, and that’s where Richardson sits right now. That’s worth a top-five pick on potential alone, and the development is highly encouraging in a relatively small sample size.

Bleacher Report: Colts at No. 1 (via trade)

With a 4.43 40-yard dash, 40.5-inch vertical jump and 129-inch broad jump at 6'4" and 244 pounds, Richardson has arguably the best athletic profile at the position since the televised combine era began.

Richardson isn't just an athlete, though. His pocket presence, baseline processing skills and ability outside the pocket provide a good foundation. Richardson just needs to clean up the accuracy, which looked improved during the throwing session in Indy.

Lance Zierlein, Colts at No. 4

New Colts head coach Shane Steichen just helped the Eagles get to the Super Bowl with a quarterback (Jalen Hurts) who possesses similar traits to those of this athletic marvel. Richardson needs time to develop, but the Florida product has massive upside.

Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz, USA TODAY: Panthers at No. 9

Perhaps no other prospect enters the combine with as much buzz as Richardson, the rifle-armed, 6-4, 232-pound signal-caller with a rare blend of speed and power as a runner. Many parts of his game are either under development or essentially unknown given that he has fewer than 400 career pass attempts, but there would be a significant payoff for the coaching staff that can iron out his footwork lapses. 

Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports: Las Vegas Raiders at No. 7

Anthony Richardson is one of the most exciting prospects in this class. The problem: he's short on experience, and while his physical tools are rare, Josh McDaniels has a track record of dialing up plays to put his QBs in position to succeed. Richardson told us at the combine that he wants to play Day 1, but it might be in his best long-term interest to ease into that role. Either way, a few years from now, he could be the best player in the league.

Daniel Jeremiah, Detroit Lions at No. 18

The Lions have the perfect situation for Richardson as he enters the league. He can sit behind Jared Goff for at least a year and then provide the rewards that come from building a team around a quarterback playing on his rookie contract.

Natalie Miller, Draft Wire: Colts at No. 4

While Colts owner Jim Irsay has made it known that he’s a fan of Young, he might be unable or unwilling to outbid Carolina for the top spot. Instead, they could trust their new head coach Shane Steichen with a high-ceiling passer in Richardson. Steichen got the most out of Jalen Hurts, and will likely be able to do the same here with the unlimited upside of Richardson, who will be able to duplicate a lot of the Philadelphia offense right away.

Tashan Reed, The Athletic: Raiders at No. 5 (via trade)

The 6-foot-4, 232-pound quarterback has all the size you want along with a cannon for an arm capable of making every throw on the field and the speed, acceleration and power to have a massive impact on the ground. He needs to improve his accuracy, processing ability and overall fundamentals, but he’s not as much of a project as many think. He may not be ready to start right away, but the Raiders could re-sign Jarrett Stidham or bring in Jacoby Brissett as a stop-gap option to give themselves insurance for 2023.

Nate Davis, USA TODAY: Atlanta Falcons at No. 8

Richardson could clearly benefit from a season (or more) to marinate under HC Arthur Smith and work on his accuracy while the less physically gifted Desmond Ridder's evaluation continues. But Smith's penchant for extracting the most from his players and the prospect of Richardson eventually joining an offense with several promising youngsters could make him hard to bypass – and perhaps galvanize a city nearly two decades removed from the Michael Vick Experience.

Todd McShay, ESPN: Panthers at No. 9

Richardson will not be ready to start right away after just 13 college starts and with some rawness to his game, but his potential is off the charts. He has the arm. He has the rushing ability. And he has the 6-foot-4, 232-pound frame. Scouts are fascinated by his upside. It'd just come down to whether the Panthers believe they can fix his accuracy woes and develop his game to capitalize on those physical traits. Maybe they fall in love with another QB and try to move up, but if not, don't be surprised if they're the ones to reach for Richardson (my No. 36 prospect).

Diante Lee, The Athletic: Panthers at No. 3 (via trade)

With the first quarterback off the board and multiple teams ahead of them desperate to find their franchise guy, the Panthers open the Frank Reich era with a splash, trading up and taking a major swing on the biggest lottery ticket in the draft.

Anthony Richardson’s tape doesn’t make him the cleanest QB prospect to evaluate, but he’s more polished than his reputation lets on. His footwork and feel in the pocket indicate comfort in chaos, which is impressive given how easy it would be for him to tuck and run at the first sign of trouble. He has some off-target throws but not as many awful decisions, and his dynamic ability to create offense would give Carolina the juice to establish a new offensive identity.

Adam Easterling, Draft Wire: Panthers at No. 9

If the Panthers don’t regret passing on Justin Fields, they definitely should at this point. They’d be wise not to make the same mistake twice, and though Richardson isn’t anywhere near the level of prospect Fields was coming out, he’s still got sky-high potential that could make him a superstar down the road.

Chad Reuter, Jets at No. 13

Jets GM Joe Douglas traded Sam Darnold after watching him for two seasons, and it wouldn't surprise me if he does the same with Zach Wilson, if the fit doesn't improve. (Though it's worth noting that Wilson was Douglas' pick, while Darnold was not.) Richardson's throws don't always hit their targets, but his quick feet allow him to step up and out of the pocket, and he fits balls into tight spaces with easy velocity. His combination of agility and power as a runner is also intriguing. Don't be surprised if he's the best playmaker out of this QB crop four years down the road.

Kyle Stackpole, CBS Sports: Panthers at No. 3 (via trade)

With the divisional rival Saints finding their QB in Derek Carr, the Panthers get aggressive in finding their own franchise signal-caller. Many believe Anthony Richardson will have to sit for a year, but his upside is higher than any other QB in this class. (I mean, did you see his NFL Combine performance?) Carolina believes he's worth the wait.

Derrik Klasson, Bleacher Report: Washington Commanders at No. 16

The Commanders take the biggest roll of the dice at quarterback with Florida's Anthony Richardson. Richardson is a toolsy prospect with unlimited upside. He's a fast, explosive runner at 6'4" and 231 pounds, and he's in contention with Will Levis for the class' best arm. He's an outstanding pocket manager, too.

However, Richardson is an incomplete prospect. He only started one year in college, with plenty of rough edges to smooth out as a passer.

Joe Broback, Pro Football Network: Panthers at No. 3

Once Young and Stroud are off the board, teams need to make some serious decisions — and Carolina is one of them. If they’re satisfied with the guys they have on the roster, they’ll stay put. But they may decide they need a talent like Anthony Richardson.

Frank Reich’s staff has a good core in place to build around, but it might take time to improve the franchise. That’s perfect for a guy like Richardson, who needs time to learn how to be a pro. With a rocket for an arm and elite athleticism, there’s a ton of upside to love about his game.

Tom Fornelli, CBS Sports: Bucs at No. 19

Whether Tampa addresses it in free agency or trade, Anthony Richardson makes sense as a long-term play at the QB position. Personally, I wish Richardson had spent another year in college developing, but it's hard to pass up the chance to be a first-round pick. The tools are there. The refinement is not. Given time and the right combination of system and coach, Richardson could be a steal.

Cynthia Frelund, New Orleans Saints at No. 29

I know the Saints have stuck with veteran QBs since Drew Brees' retirement, and they could go that route again in 2023. But Richardson's upside (and the cap-friendly rookie deal he'd be on) would be worth the 29th overall pick. Richardson's scrambling and rushing abilities differentiate him from the other top QBs in this class.

Hunter Haas, FanSided: Colts at No. 4

I have pushed the Richardson-Colts pairing for a month or two now, but the hiring of Shane Steichen further amplifies this thought. Richardson is a moldable ball of clay, much like Justin Herbert and Jalen Hurts as they entered the league.

Matt Miller, ESPN: Commanders at No. 16

The quarterback situation in Washington is less than ideal with Taylor Heinicke hitting free agency and Carson Wentz no longer a viable starting option. The Commanders did draft Sam Howell in the fifth round of the 2022 draft, but rarely do Day 3 quarterbacks become franchise passers. With Richardson on the board, this is the pick that makes the most sense.

Josh Edwards, CBS Sports: Panthers at No. 6 (via trade)

With three quarterbacks going in the top-five, Carolina can not sit idly around. Anthony Richardson is a raw prospect but has as much upside as anyone. The Panthers take him and hope that they do enough to support him this offseason.

Dane Brugler, The Athletic: Lions at No. 15 (via trade)

In last year’s first round, the Lions made a major trade with a division foe to move up for a high-upside offensive star (Jameson Williams). They could do it again this year and invest in their future at the quarterback position.

Thanks to his size, athleticism and arm, Anthony Richardson is a total freak show with a high ceiling, but he’s still figuring out how to be a consistent passer. Jared Goff’s presence would let Detroit develop Richardson at his own pace.

Eric Edholm, Panthers at No. 9

The Panthers certainly would need to have a starting-caliber veteran QB on the roster in order to make this pick, but Richardson has all the traits to be a Cam Newton starter kit to develop gradually.

SI NFL Draft Bible: Minnesota Vikings at No. 24

Sizeable height and length for the position, with an intimidating structure. Overly poised for a player with such little experience. Very comfortable in the pocket and has the instinct to step up when it collapses or escape the impending rush.

Bucky Brooks, not in the first round

Brooks' most recent mock draft did not include Richardson among the Day 1 picks. He has Bryce Young going at No. 2 to the Texans, C.J. Stroud at No. 4 to the Colts and Will Levis at No. 7 to the Raiders. Brooks has the Panthers taking Florida guard O'Cyrus Torrence with the ninth pick.