According to his new teammate, Pro Bowl defensive tackle DeForest Buckner on ‘The Richard Sherman Podcast’, Indianapolis Colts rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson has the makings of a great quarterback—particularly regarding his already special pocket presence:
“He’s been great,” Buckner said on the podcast a few days ago. “I mean just seeing him work everyday.”
“He’s made some great spectacular throws in practice. Like any other rookie, I mean obviously, you know he’s still got work to do, but I can say one big thing, really watching him is his pocket presence. He really has a good feel for the rush when he’s looking downfield. Being able to extend plays.”
“Obviously, with the quarterback position nowadays, just with the guys rushing the quarterback, you need a dual-threat quarterback. A quarterback with great pocket presence and being able to extend plays down the field. I mean that’s kind of where the game is going right now.”
“Having him is a great addition, I mean shoot when he came on his visit to the Colts, they told me who he was and I’m like, ‘Man that boy look like a d-end,’ you know, just the way he’s built. He’s got all the attributes to be a great quarterback. He’s just got to put the work in.”
That exceptional pocket presence and downfield ability were readily apparent during Friday morning’s training camp practice, when Richardson felt the initial pressure, rolled out to his left, and delivered a 55-yard touchdown pass downfield to Alec Pierce off his backfoot—which was the play of the day (*and even early camp so far):
Ladies & gentlemen, Anthony Richardson. pic.twitter.com/DgrkppBGY1— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) July 28, 2023
As Buckner mentioned, Richardson will still have to put the work and time in like any other rookie, but he has the physical attributes and makeup to be truly special in time.
Despite limited starting experience at Florida, and being only 21 years old, Richardson’s pocket presence is already well beyond his years and had to be one of the biggest selling points for the Colts selecting him with the 4th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
He has the unique ability to feel pressure and show poise, either stepping up in the pocket when needed or escaping pressure without panicking—and extending such plays downfield.
It’s been a limited sample size, but so far, so good, as a former NFL All-Pro and veteran leader of Indy’s locker room having high praise for Richardson’s initial body of work with the Colts is definitely an encouraging sign regarding his long-term future success.