Former Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson wager on himself and cashed in massive Thursday night time throughout the NFL draft.
Indianapolis chosen No. 4, validating resolution to depart after as a redshirt sophomore with simply 13 profession begins. He was a 3rd quarterback taken, behind No. 1 Bryce Young of Alabama and Ohio State’s CJ Stroud at No. 2.
The Colts’ resolution ended hypothesis Richardson’s inventory had dipped in latest days and can earn him $36,874,031, together with a $23,817,477 signing bonus.
Wearing a grey swimsuit and white turtleneck, Richardson was amongst 17 gamers invited to attend the draft in Kansas City, Mo. After NFL commissioner Roger Goodall referred to as his title, Richardson hugged relations together with his mom, LaShawnda Cleare, and made his solution to the stage, stopping first to placed on a Colts hat.
“I always dreamed of this,” Richardson instructed NFL Network. “When I got the call it made me realize I finally made it to his level.”
Gators coach Billy Napier joined his former quarterback on the draft, calling him a “generational talent” throughout an ESPN interview previous to the occasion.
“I’m just really proud of Anthony. A product of a lot of hard work,” Napier stated following Richardson’s choice. “Now, the fun stuff begins. The best is truly yet to come here. This guy’s best football is in front of him.”
Richardson is the fifth Florida quarterback taken throughout the first spherical and first since Gators legend Tim Tebow, the No. 25 decide in 2010 by Denver. Richardson was drafted greater than any UF quarterback for the reason that 1970 NFL-AFL merger and the very best ever aside from Steve Spurrier, whom San Francisco picked No. 3 in 1967.
John Reaves (No. 14, 1972), Kerwin Bell (No. 180, 1988), Danny Wuerffel (No. 99, 1997), Jesse Palmer (No. 125, 2001), Rex Grossman (No. 22, 2003) and Kyle Trask (No. 64, 2021) are different UF quarterbacks drafted.
The 6-foot-4, 244-pound Richardson possesses the scale, arm power and working capacity to grow to be the very best of all. He additionally might grow to be one of many many busts at arguably the hardest place in skilled sports activities, a cause observers questioned if he would possibly ended up drafted later within the first spherical.
The former Gainesville highschool star closed his profession with a 9-of-27 passing effort throughout a 45-38 loss Nov. 25 at rival Florida State, magnifying the inaccuracy and poor decision-making NFL groups needed to weigh in opposition to his transcendent athletic capacity.
Richardson’s efficiency March on the NFL Scouting Combine included a quarterback-record 40.5-inch vertical leap and a 4.43-second 40-yard sprint, fourth quickest at his place since 2000.
“Really just a unique talent,” Napier stated Thursday night time. “There’s not been many players like Anthony Richardson in the history of this game.”
But his appreciable ability set translated to sporadic success throughout his one season as a full-time starter.
Richardson handed for two,549 yards and 17 landing and rushed for 654 yards and 9 scores. His 53.8% completion accuracy was the bottom by a Florida participant since Treon Harris in 2015. The Gators completed 6-7, with Richardson sitting out the bowl recreation to arrange for the draft.
Richardson did, nonetheless, document 16 runs of a minimum of 10 yards, together with landing runs of 45 and 81 yards. He accomplished 46 throws of 20 yards or longer, together with landing strikes of 52 and 43 yards at Florida State.
Another signal of inconsistency: he totaled greater than 270 yards in seven video games, however fewer than 150 in three video games, together with a loss to Kentucky and 31-28 win in opposition to USF — winners of 1 recreation in 2022. Against Kentucky, Richardson had 2 interceptions resulting in 14 factors every week after he scored 3 touchdowns throughout a season-opening upset of Utah.
The recreation confirmed to many Richardson had simply begun his remaining season in Gainesville.
“He’s going to get his,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham stated, referring to Richardson’s future NFL riches.
Richardson, who turns 21 on May 22, now has to earn his hold. He joins a roster that includes veterans Nick Foles, who quarterback the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles in 2017, and Gardner Minshew, a former starter in Jacksonville.
Richardson entered Thursday amongst 10 Gators hoping to be drafted throughout the subsequent three days.
A workforce nonetheless might choose All-American guard O’Cyrus Torrence throughout the first spherical. The draft resumes at 7 p.m. Friday with the second and third rounds, the place defensive deal with Gervon Dexter is anticipated to land. The remainder of the Gators, together with linebacker Ventrell Miller, a fan favourite, and veteran receiver Justin Shorter, hope to listen to their names referred to as starting at midday Saturday throughout Rounds 4-7 or in any other case depend on the free-agent route.
This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Edgar Thompson at [email protected] or observe him on Twitter at @osgators.