According to ESPN’s Todd McShay on NFL Live, the Indianapolis Colts and Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson ‘would be a perfect marriage’ with the 4th overall pick in the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft:
“I’d like to see him in Indianapolis,” McShay said. “I think Shane Steichen would be great for him. Worked with Jalen Hurts. He’s worked with Justin Herbert. I think that would be a perfect spot.”
“I’m having the hardest time with (placing) any of these quarterbacks. Will Levis, I keep hearing to Indianapolis as a possibility. We know about Bryce Young going #1. C.J. Stroud, if it’s not Houston, we have some possibilities there with Vegas and maybe with Tennessee moving up.”
“I haven’t found one rumor. One person in the league that’s placing Richardson with a team. So maybe he drops, maybe he gets to #19 with Tampa Bay.”
“But I go back to Steichen, I would love to see Anthony Richardson with a quarterback coach who’s now a head coach, who’s (been) an offensive coordinator (with) Jalen Hurts and with Justin Herbert. I just think that would be a perfect marriage.”
To be fair, it does seem like a natural pairing (and has largely since Steichen’s hiring).
Steichen just recently had significant success with Philadelphia Eagles’ breakout MVP candidate Jalen Hurts, who he utilized as a dual-threat quarterback as offensive coordinator, while recently calling plays for the reigning NFC Champions.
While Steichen is certainly adaptable enough to tailor his offensive scheme to any of the remaining top quarterback prospects, it’s still my opinion that Richardson makes the most sense given that Steichen doesn’t have to tinker it all that much from last season—and that A-Rich has the most dynamic skill-set of any rookie quarterback to build an offense around.
Having Richardson behind center, Steichen could deploy an offensive scheme that features vertical passing (as Richardson throws a very catchable deep ball with a big arm), play-action (working off All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor and the ground game), and RPOs (utilizing Richardson’s athleticism).
As McShay mentions, Steichen’s had success working with young star quarterbacks—not only Hurts, but the Los Angeles Chargers Justin Herbert as well. As a former collegiate quarterback, he’s regarded as an ascending young offensive minded head coach who can help develop Richardson, while showing the requisite patience in the process.
Make what you want of it, but it does seem at least slightly peculiar to me that the Colts didn’t just hire Steichen, but later added quarterbacks coach Cam Turner as well, who’s worked with another pair of highly mobile quarterbacks: Kyler Murray and Cam Newton—the latter who is most often the pro quarterback that Richardson is compared to athletically.
In any case, we shall see on Thursday night whether this rumored marriage was meant to be.