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The Detroit Lions will have multiple options available to them in the 2023 NFL Draft when it comes to their turn to announce their selection at No. 6 overall. The quarterback position is currently set for Detroit for the next two years with veteran Jared Goff under contract. But as we discussed yesterday, Lions general manager Brad Holmes would be remiss of his responsibilities if he wasn't thinking ahead. And that's where Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson could come in.
Pros of the Detroit Lions Drafting Anthony Richardson
The Lions could use a young talent who works to gain his footing at the NFL level by learning from a veteran with poise like Goff. Though Richardson didn't exactly light the world on fire with his stats last season with the Gators which saw him total 2,549 yards with 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions, he's a unique physical specimen at 6-foot-4 and 232 pounds.
Richardson boasted the quickest 40-yard dash time of all quarterbacks at the NFL Combine, along with jumping the highest and furthest. His speed was on display last season, rushing for 654 yards In fact, Richardson himself declared his belief that he's simply built differently.
“A lot of people say I’m a different breed. I always tell people I’m not from Earth,” Richardson told ESPN. “I’m gifted, I’m talented. I feel like God made me different, and I just try to use that in my daily life.”
Richardson also expressed his confidence in his abilities in a letter he penned to NFL general managers.
“I know a lot of y’all want to know if I’m ready to step onto a professional team,” he wrote. “I keep hearing that the NFL isn’t like college. It’s a different level. It’s more mental. Nothing’s going to be handed to you. I can tell you right now, if that’s what it takes then I’m ready. All due respect, that’s nothing new for me – it’s the same in life. If you want to eat, you gotta work for it. I know all about that.”
There would also be plenty of time for him to iron out any inconsistencies in the position under offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, easily one of the top minds in the League today. And with Detroit's top-10 ranked offensive line combined with talented young receivers like Amon-Ra St. Brown, Richardson would be insulated with talent.
Cons of the Detroit Lions Drafting Anthony Richardson
There's no denying that Richardson's accuracy has been called into question, having completed only 56% of his passes in the last two seasons played. Some have even suggested that whoever takes a waiver on Richardson could have another JaMarcus Russell, who lasted only three years in the NFL, on their hands.
There's also the fact that his 13 career collegiate starts would be the fewest (tied with Mitchell Trubisky) by a QB selected in Round 1 of the NFL Draft since 2000. His lack of experience in playing meaningful games as opposed to his peers like Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud could be enough to make Detroit think twice about Richardson, especially if Stroud were still available for the taking.
Wrapping It Up – The Lions would have a talented QB with potential in Richardson
The 2023 NFL Draft officially kicks off tonight from Kansas City, Missouri starting at 8:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time). The Lions, who are poised to take the next step in 2023, are hoping that whomever they select with the No. 6 pick will be able to play a role in doing so.
Should Richardson ultimately fall into their laps, Lions fans can rest assured that he'll be learning and developing under one of the top offensive minds in the game that several NFL teams had on their radar this offseason.