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During the 2021 college football season, Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson was firmly entrenched as the backup to Emory Jones.

It quickly became apparent to the coaching staff that year that Richardson should at least be put into certain play packages, as his rare talent was too tempting to keep off the field. Richardson ended up making a considerable impact on the offense, including multiple 100-yard rushing games, and a four-touchdown performance against LSU.

It was clear from that point forward Richardson would be “the guy” going into the 2022 season, and he wasted little time taking advantage of the starting role. In a Week 1 upset win over Utah, Richardson exploded on the for over 100 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, while being efficient through the air.

The hype came crashing back down for Richardson over the next two games, as he couldn’t seem to find a rhythm in the passing game, and was limited on the ground, as well.

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This has been a trend for Richardson, showing the glimpses of an elite, once-in-a-decade-type quarterback in a similar vein to Josh Allen and Cam Newton, with arm talent to rival both, and a size/athleticism combo to match.

You can clearly see all of it showcased on tape, with Richardson popping off incredible runs, rumbling down field and shrugging off defensive backs that are half his size while outrunning the others. You see it again when he barely sets his feet, and throws a dime 50 yards down the field with what seems like little effort.

However, there are clear red flags, most of which have to do with consistency. Richardson currently has more interceptions than passing touchdowns, which is never a good sign, and at times has shown erratic accuracy and footwork on what should be routine passes. He struggles to calm his feet down, set a solid base, and let the ball rip off the first read, which leads to the spotty accuracy. He has shown poor decision-making at times, trusting in his arm to make a throw rather than making the right decision and adjusting, which has led to multiple turnovers.

It’s obvious Richardson is built for the NFL, and he’ll likely be drafted in the first round of the 2023 draft if his growth continues. He’ll benefit from a pro scheme that takes advantage of his ridiculous skill set, as it seems Florida is not keen on doing that and stubbornly sticking to a script that clearly doesn’t suit their superstar and prioritize his development as a pro-ready quarterback.

Richardson will need some coaching up at the next level, but in the right situation, there’s no reason to believe he can’t become the NFL’s next superstar quarterback.

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Story originally appeared on Draft Wire

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