NFL Draft ace Anthony Richardson compared to Lamar Jackson and Newton

Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson believes he is a blend of two former MVPs in the shape of Cam Newton and Baltimore Ravens star Lamar Jackson ahead of the NFL Draft. Richardson – who has reportedly aced his interviews at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis – also claimed he wants to be a ‘legend’ akin to Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady.

Richardson is reportedly flying up draft boards after impressing at the combine in Indianapolis, which isn’t uncommon as teams traditionally fall for raw talents based on their athleticism showcased at the annual event. In the 2023 draft class, few possess the physical traits Richardson does. 

On Friday, Richardson claimed he has always identified with Newton and Jackson, a pair of exciting quarterbacks who can beat defences with both their arms and their legs. He claimed he told the Atlanta Falcons he can run a faster 40-yard dash than star tight end Kyle Pitts, who ran a 4.44-second dash in 2021. 

“Growing up, it was always Cam Newton for me,” the former Florida quarterback said when asked to compare himself to a recent pro player. “But then, when I got to high school, just seeing how dynamic Lamar (Jackson) was, I tried to implement both of those guys in my life. I started calling myself Cam Jackson in 11th grade, just trying to make plays.”

Depending on how he fares in his remaining interviews, Richardson could remarkably be dashing up the boards – and perhaps could be the first overall pick. Due to the value of the quarterback position, it would be a surprise if he slipped out the top 10 based on current hype. 

Ultimately, Richardson is an incredibly raw talent. The 21-year-old only started 13 games for the Gators – 12 of those in 2022 as a redshirt sophomore – while he passed for 2,549 yards last season along with 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He added 654 yards and nine scores as a rushing threat. 

His ceiling as a prospect is undeniably high but there’s also a floor to his talents. Richardson’s inconsistent throwing mechanics and worrying inaccuracy saw him complete just 55% of his passes during his time in college – but NFL franchises are intrigued.

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Richardson has held interviews with the Houston Texans, Carolina Panthers, New England Patriots and Falcons. From that group, only the Pats own a pick outside the top 10 in next month’s draft in Kansas City, while the Panthers – according to ESPN – are interested in securing a veteran like Derek Carr or Sam Darnold while a talent like Richardson could sit and learn the playbook for a year or so.

Richardson wants to leave a legacy in the NFL and his confidence combined with his athleticism makes it hard to deny. He said: “I want to be a legend. I want to be like Patrick Mahomes, I want to be like Tom Brady. I want to be one of the greats – I will be one of the greats,” he said, feeling his body, mindset and fundamentals have already greatly improved since he left Gainesville.

“Just watching different films, watching Joe Burrow, watching Justin Herbert, watching Josh Allen last year with my coaches – I feel like I’m able to do those same things that those guys are able to do. They’re great on their teams, so I’m ready to get on my team and get in my system and become great just like those guys.”

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