According to ESPN’s Matt Bowen (subscription), Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson being selected by the Indianapolis Colts (#4 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft) has been listed as one of the ‘best landing spots’ among this year’s top rookies:
Anthony Richardson, QB, Indianapolis Colts
Drafted: Round 1, No. 4
Why he is a perfect fit: Considering his rare dual-threat traits and the Colts’ offensive system, Richardson lands in a prime spot for his pro development. First-year head coach Shane Steichen schemed for Jalen Hurts last year in Philadelphia, mixing in designed runs, run-pass options and play-action elements while also giving Hurts opportunities as a pocket thrower. Expect the same script for Richardson in Indianapolis as he develops in the NFL.
While Richardson can still improve his lower-body mechanics and generate a stronger sense of accelerated vision from the pocket, the tools are there for the young quarterback to produce in an offense designed to highlight his playmaking ability at the position. He completed 53.8% of his passes last season, but he threw 17 touchdown passes and averaged 6.4 yards per rush. This is a great spot for Richardson to learn the pro game and continue developing his skill set.
There may not have been a more ideal landing spot for Richardson than the Colts among this offseason’s quarterback needy suitors, assuming Indianapolis can shore up its offensive line issues that plagued their once formidable unit last season.
Richardson is immediately paired with new Colts head coach Shane Steichen, who’s already helped develop elite young quarterbacks such as Jalen Hurts and Justin Herbert.
Steichen figures to deploy the dynamic Richardson similarly to the dual-threat Hurts, who was a breakout MVP candidate this past season with Steichen calling the offensive plays for the reigning NFC Champions. Richardson’s new quarterbacks coach, Cam Turner, also has experience coaching a pair of star NFL mobile quarterbacks: Cam Newton and Kyler Murray.
Steichen will demonstrate the proper patience and mentorship for Richardson to develop and fight through the early growing pains that affect every young NFL passer. The Colts also have veteran Gardner Minshew to initially start in case Richardson isn’t quite ready—although my expectation is that he’ll be the Week 1 starter, with both general manager Chris Ballard and head coach Shane Steichen already indicating that he needs the experience.
However, Richardson and the Colts seem like an awfully natural fit, and he has a solid support system to jumpstart his promising pro career in Indianapolis.