Anthony Richardson of Florida is selected by the Colts with the fourth overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft

Anthony Richardson drafted to Colts (Not Pictured) Indianapolis Colts playing on the field – Courtesy: Shutterstock – Image by Jamie Lamor Thompson

The Colts found their player on Thursday night, following months of arduous, exhaustive internal evaluation and months of arduous, exhausting exterior speculation.

Anthony Richardson of Florida was selected by the Colts as the fourth overall choice in the 2023 NFL Draft.

According to Pro Football Focus, the 6-foot-4, 244-pound Richardson was the “single most impressive quarterback position athlete in scouting combine history.” At the NFL Combine in 2000, Richardson’s 4.43-second 40-yard dash was the fourth-fastest among quarterbacks. No quarterback had a greater vertical leap (40.5 inches) or a greater broad jump (129 inches) than Richardson.

Richardson has “rare” arm strength in addition to these physical qualities, according to Dane Brugler of the physical.

“He had the strongest arm that I’ve ever been around,” Florida wide receiver Justin Shorter said at the NFL Combine earlier this year.

In 2022, Richardson ran for seven rushes of 20 yards or more and two further runs of 50 yards or more. According to Pro Football Focus, his 39 broken tackles were the fourth-most among FBS quarterbacks in 2022.

In the Gators’ downfield passing attack, he routinely sent the ball deep, with his throws last season traveling an average of 11.6 yards past the line of scrimmage, fourth-highest at the FBS level. And in 378 dropbacks last season, Richardson was only sacked 13 times.

Richardson, who won’t turn 21 until May 22, will be just the second quarterback selected in the NFL’s history at age 20 (and the first since 1950).

“You can’t coach his talent and physical ability,” ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. wrote, “and NFL coaches will see the tools and try to develop him.”

Despite his young age, Richardson was described by Brugler as “humble, hardworking and his coaches say he has the ‘required wiring’ to digest and apply hard coaching.”

Richardson was born in Miami and then relocated to Gainesville, Florida, where he attended high school and received training in fire, EMS, and public safety. He played sports at Eastside High School in Gainesville because Professional Academies Magnet at Loften High School, where he attended high school, didn’t have a football team. While there, he played quarterback and had scholarship offers from Georgia, Michigan, Penn State, Virginia Tech, and Florida. Richardson made the decision to remain close to his Gainesville home and signed with Florida, enrolling there in early January 2020.

Richardson will work with Steichen, offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter, and quarterbacks coach Cam Turner in Indianapolis, where he will join a quarterback room that already includes Gardner Minshew II, Sam Ehlinger, and Nick Foles.

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