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Anthony Richardson is a prospect who naturally will be loved by many and disliked by equally as many. His dual threat play style is in line with the new generation of QBs that have entered the league in recent seasons. So what’s to make of Anthony Richardson as a prospect?


Running Ability

Look at this play where he is able to turn down his read, take off and go 81 yards for a TD all by himself. This is a play that didn’t need a good play design, a receiver to get open, or his OL to hold up, he scored 6 all by himself. The value in that alone is high, and QBs who are able to do that are able to create offense when the other 10 players aren’t able to. 

The ability to do this is something special and while I could find countless other clips of similar rushing ability you will have to trust me when I say this is not all. Richardson will enter the league as one of the best running QBs, an underrated edge. 

Arm Strength

His arm strength is also obvious to anyone who turns on his film being able to make many throws across the field with different arm angles and has a release quick enough to not be an issue in the NFL as some QBs have had transitioning from college to the pros. 

This is a great throw off action. Shows off how strong that arm is in every single game that he plays. His arm strength will never let him down. 

The ability to have an arm this strong while basically not even having a good base and not stepping into the throw is no joke. Similar to the running ability, this is a game changing trait that Richardson possesses.

This is a nice throw as he has room to step in and show off his arm but I think this isn’t a good throw for the reason that this should be a TD. Yes the big completion is great, but can’t leave easy points off the board. 

Big moment in the game and Richardson identifies Cover 0 and throws a great ball to his outside WR who wins his 1 on 1. Richardson makes this throw look so easy and effortless. 

Sack Avoidance and Pocket Movement

One of my favorite things about Anthony Richardson is how he doesn’t take sacks and moves well in the pocket. His 9.2% pressure to sack rate (PFF) is elite level of sack avoidance. As we can see in the graph below, pressure to sack rate stays pretty stable from college to the pros so it is fair to assume Richardson will have great sack avoidance in the NFL too. 

Sacks are the leading play type in EPA/Play lost in terms of magnitude (-1.75 EPA/Play) so avoiding them is very important for a QB to have success. Also QBs who have good sack avoidance tend to play better in other aspects of the game as well as seen in this graph below.

Here are some clips of Richardson’s sack avoidance and pocket presence in action:

It’s an incompletion, sure, but the ability to not turn this into a negative play is much bigger than many might think on the surface. His strength allows him to stay up and avoid losing many yards on this plays. 

You’ve probably seen this play before because it is crazy. This pocket movement and the ability to make this throw is special. Just look how he navigates every space of green grass in the pocket to make this play happen. What a play by the WR too.

Love how Richardson steps up after seeing the pressure and move towards his target to make the pass an easier one. 

No words can do this play justice but this manipulation to avoid taking a sack is truly special. 


Progressions and Pre/Post Snap

Plenty of things to like but also plenty of places for concerns. Watching his film, it was clear that he gets hung up on his first read too often and is not a quick enough processor or good enough pre or post snap at this moment. Those things can improve, for sure, but they will have to if he wants to take the next step as a passer in the league. 

Richardson sees the WR running the over, but he is clearly covered. His check down is wide open and probably scores here if Richardson gets him the football.

Staring down the over route here and never works to the wide open check down. The deep corner sink should be an indicator that the flat is open but Richardson just takes off and takes multiple hits. Have to avoid this especially in a pocket this good. 

Florida runs some iteration of Smash frontside with the curl/corner, which is covered and Richardson is staring it down for far too long. Backside, Florida runs Dragon (slant/flat) and the slant is wide open. Richardson doesn’t throw it and instead comes off his primary read and runs. 


Richardson also has shown some clear signs of inaccurate passing and finished the season with a -3.0% Completion Percentage over Expected (@tejfbanalytics). His 53% completion percentage and a 64.1% adjusted accuracy percentage, two numbers that are clearly not good. Of course those are just numbers, what do they mean, so here are some clips where Richardson displays his inaccurate tendencies. 

Richardson here has a clean pocket and a wide open WR running a comeback, and the ball comes out too low not allowing the WR to catch and turn for YAC. While the pass goes down as a completion, it clearly was not a good pass as the WR had to go to his knees to complete the catch.

Not personally a fan of double outs in any situation of any game, but Richardson is still very inaccurate on this pass. His feet and arm aren’t working together and he is throwing high and wide.

Richardson is getting hit so it may be fair to say this isn’t a miss due to inaccuracy but in that case the lack of anticipation from Richardson is clear. The over is open and not until later does Richardson actually throw the football. 

An inexcusable miss here by Richardson, as he’s rolling right and has a player wide open. This can’t happen. 

Just a flat out bad miss here to throwing the slant. Really dislike the footwork here and think he has wasted motion with starting his left foot back first. Timing and accuracy is just off here on what should be a pretty easy pitch and catch. 

Richardson at times has some inefficient and weird footwork as you can see here his toes look like they are getting stuck and caught up in the ground which throws off his timing and accuracy leading to this inaccurate pass.


Don’t be fooled by the fact that there seem to be more negative clips than there are positives. My whole goal was to show things that aren’t easily seen in a highlight clip, but there are countless more plays where Richardson shows off his ridiculous rushing ability and his extremely strong arm. Those are two things that are obvious to those who watch any form of his game. The sack avoidance for a QB of his play style is very impressive and it seems to come from a place of avoiding tackles as opposed to standing in under pressure very often. The inaccuracy is obvious as neither his numbers or film showed accuracy to be excited about and probably did the opposite. His processing is also not at the level it will need to be at yet, luckily for him he has time to develop. He has started in college for a single season so obviously in a conference like the SEC the game will move too quickly at times. I am in love with running QBs so it is hard for me not to be a Richardson fan, so I am, but I acknowledge the current issues existing in some passing aspects. If a team trusts their development and can ideally let him sit and let him develop for a season, this is a chance worth taking. The variability in outcomes is absurd, but that should make teams willing to take a chance. The traits are amazing, the sack avoidance is great, but the passing deficiencies exist. 

Grade: Mid-Late 1st Round 

If you got this far I hope you enjoyed 🙂

(@ilananalytics on twitter)