It was a significant weekend for the Detroit Lions in Indianapolis at the NFL combine, as the team saw several prospects show out on the field to further the evaluation process.
One such player was Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson. Coming into the draft, Richardson has been a polarizing prospect, and it was figured the combine would be vital to his hopes for the future in the league, perhaps even his future in Detroit.
To say Richardson dominated the combine would be an understatement. His electric performance may have propelled him ahead in the minds of Detroit fans and plenty in the media, who were fired-up about his potential fit in the Motor City.
Already, some are pondering what could be the future for the Lions like Daniel Harms, who seems to see the writing on the wall and hope Detroit makes the move.
“The Lions are going to go get Richardson, let him sit behind Goff for a year, and then unleash him,” Harms tweeted.
If the team picked Richardson, they could have plenty of options to make their offense very dangerous, as Chris Burke of The Athletic pointed out.
“Goff in shotgun, split backfield with Richardson and St. Brown/Swift, snap it to anyone you want,” Burke tweeted.
The fact that Richardson has dominated has changed some minds within the Detroit fanbase including perhaps Matt Smith, who admitted that he may have fallen in love with the prospect.
“Me all week: Don’t fall in love with this guy because of the combine, Lions.
Me after the combine: DRAFT RICHARDSON TO DEVELOP HIM BEHIND GOFF,” Smith tweeted.
Already, some folks including Brett Kollmann are beginning to alter their mock drafts and have Richardson going top-six to the Lions.
“6. Lions – Anthony Richardson. 7. Raiders – Tyree Wilson. 8. Falcons – Devon Witherspoon. 9. Bears (via Panthers) – Van Ness or Flowers. 10. Eagles – Christian Gonzalez,” Kollmann tweeted.
That move would please some if it happened, like Josh Norris, who wants to see a talent like Richardson land with elite offensive coordinator Ben Johnson.
“Let’s get Anthony Richardson to Detroit with Ben Johnson. Take advantage of drafting in the top 10, Lions. Because the goal is to not be in this spot again,” Norris tweeted.
No matter what happens, though, the Lions could benefit if Richardson vaults up the board into the top 10. Should that happen, the team will have plenty of options early in the draft, as was pointed out on Twitter.
“A lot to play out, but Richardson’s insane combine may benefit the Lions more than anybody. If he’s a top 5 pick, Bryce Young, CJ Stroud & Will Levis all remain. Cardinals & Seahawks aren’t taking QBs. Somebody is going to be asking Detroit to move up for the last available QB,” the site tweeted.
Whether the team loves Richardson and makes a move for him, or simply benefits from him potentially rocketing up the draft board, it’s clear this was a massive weekend for both Richardson and the Lions.
Anthony Richardson Had Dominating NFL Combine
Why all the hype for Detroit? The Lions pick within the top 10 of the draft at sixth-overall, and the quarterback lit up the combine with his performances on the field in plenty of ways.
First, Richardson showed off his speed with a blazing fast 4.4 40 yard dash, proving he’s got the straight line speed that can win in the NFL.
Then, if there were any questions about arm talent, Richardson seemed to answer those as well. He showed off some impressive arm strength within a deep bomb pass during the on-field workout portion of the event.
In terms of his ability to leap, Richardson is quite literally second to no quarterback after an impressive 40.5 inch vertical, as shown by NFL Network reporter Stacey Dales.
As a whole, Richardson set some marks that were very impressive in terms of the combine. As the NFL Research account showed, he compares favorably with some of the top players in the NFL right now metric-wise.
“Florida QB Anthony Richardson at the 2023 NFL Combine: Height: 6’4 1/4″ (taller than George Kittle). Weight: 244 lbs (heavier than Haason Reddick). Hand: 10 1/2″ (bigger than DeAndre Hopkins). Vert: 40.5” (higher than Davante Adams). Broad jump: 10’9” (longer than Odell Beckham Jr),” the site tweeted.
It’s looking more likely that Richardson could be a unicorn in this year’s draft class, which is something that teams always search for at quarterback. This performance could put him in demand.
Lions Met With Anthony Richardson at Combine
It’s clear Detroit is going to keep doing their diligence on the Richardson front, and that was proven true given the fact that they managed to sit down with him this week.
Richardson received a closer look from nearly half the teams in the league during the NFL combine, and the Lions were no exception to that. As Jordan Schultz of The Score reported, Detroit was amongst the teams sitting down with Richardson at the combine.
“Source also says Anthony Richardson has met with the Giants and Lions, as well as a few more teams,” Schultz tweeted.
Where this situation becomes even more interesting for Detroit involves the way the team’s brass has been speaking around the NFL combine. Listening to the front office, it’s clear the position could be in-focus firmly within the draft this year.
For his part, Richardson may have given the Lions and their fans a lot to think about in the draft.