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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Anthony Richardson drafted by Colts with fourth overall pick in 2023 NFL Draft

Richardson started 13 games in college career

Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson throws the ball during the Gators' 31-28 win over the South Florida Bulls Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022.
Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson throws the ball during the Gators' 31-28 win over the South Florida Bulls Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022.

Anthony Richardson became the highest-drafted Gator since Kyle Pitts — the fourth overall pick in the 2021 National Football League Draft — Thursday. 

He was selected by the Indianapolis Colts with the fourth pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Richardson was a first-year starter last season. In the 2021-2022 season, he backed up Emory Jones and started only one game. He passed for 529 yards and six touchdowns and rushed for 401 yards and three touchdowns.

Jones transferred before the 2022 season, and Richardson started all 12 regular season games for the Gators. In his junior season, he threw for 2,549 yards and 17; he tacked on 654 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground.

The 6-foot-4-inch, 244-pound quarterback showed out at the 2023 NFL Combine. He earned a 99 athleticism score, according to NFL Next Gen Stats.

The Gainesville native ran a 4.43 40-yard dash — the fourth-best time ever for a quarterback — and broke combine records for quarterbacks with a 40.5-inch vertical jump and a 129-inch broad jump.

Richardson participated in the Gators Pro Day March 30 and prioritized showcasing his throwing ability. Throughout the 2022 season and the combine, he solidified himself as a generational athlete at the quarterback position.

At the pro day, Richardson showed his ability to launch passes across the entire field. He ended the day with a more-than-70-yard bomb to fellow draft prospect Justin Shorter and then backflipped as he ran toward the end zone.

“I feel like I delivered the ball pretty well today,” Richardson said following his pro day performance. “Some of [the throws] weren’t as great as I wanted to be, but I feel like I threw the ball pretty well.”

Now, Richardson will join the Colts and compete with Gardener Minshew, Nick Foles and Sam Ehlinger for the starting quarterback job. Some have concerns with his inexperience and struggles with accuracy, but Florida football head coach Billy Napier said his generational physical traits, work ethic and attitude will help succeed at the professional level.

“Somebody's gonna get a guy that's gonna be a lot of fun to coach,” Napier said.

Richardson doesn’t let the critics get to him, he said. At the pro day, he said he doesn’t have any butterflies because he’s used to the pressure.

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“People talk about whether I can be accurate,” Richardson said in his story for The Players’ Tribune. “They say I don’t have touch. They say I can’t throw short. They say a lot of things. All I gotta say is: Watch how hard I work.”

Contact Kyle Bumpers at Follow him on Twitter @BumpersKyle.

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Kyle Bumpers

Kyle Bumpers is a fourth-year journalism major and the sports editor of The Alligator. In his free time, he cries about Russell Wilson and writes an outrageous amount of movie reviews on Letterboxd.

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