Analyst Wonders if Anthony Richardson Can Be Lions’ Patrick Mahomes

Patrick Mahomes

Getty Patrick Mahomes celebrates a Chiefs title in 2023.

The Detroit Lions have some major decisions to make when the 2023 NFL draft starts on April 27, and with two first-round picks, the team will have plenty of possibilities.

When it comes to what the team should do, most early speculation centers on defense, but there could be room for some offensive additions, especially at a possible future spot of need like quarterback.

One of the top prospects that could fit the Lions is Florida’s Anthony Richardson. Many see Richardson as an ideal player for Detroit due to the fact that he wouldn’t have to play a big role right away for the team, and could learn the ropes in the league.

On Good Morning Football, host Jamie Erdahl discussed the ideal landing spot for Richardson, and her answer was the Lions. Why? They could give Richardson time to adjust to the league and not depend on him to start immediately as an inexperienced young player. That’s unlike plenty of teams around the league who need a quarterback to start quickly.

To make that point, Erdahl admitted a good guidepost is what the Kansas City Chiefs did with Patrick Mahomes a few years back before unleashing him on the league.

“13 starts at the college level and you’re going to ask this guy to get drafted and go start for your team right away? I think it’s a recipe for disaster. Where he does need to go is the Detroit Lions. You still have Jared Goff for the next year or two. You have the sixth-overall pick which is a very easy spot to stay and hold. Let him come in, have a year learning under Jared Goff. We saw how this went with Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes a couple years ago,” Erdahl said in the clip.

Additionally, as Erdahl explained, Richardson could perhaps even keep star offensive coordinator Ben Johnson around longer by his presence on the roster.

“The Lions, you’re building, you’re great. You retained Ben Johnson. There’s no better way how to keep your offensive coordinator if you get a geat quarterback coming back. You’re not worried about do we re-sign Goff, what are we doing here. You have a guy in-house. I think he has to go to Detroit,” she said.

In terms of Goff, Erdahl also admitted that while the quarterback is great as well, Richardson may offer the Lions more upside overall for the future.

“He is great, and it’s kind of like Geno Smith. Goff’s had more success than Geno Smith. But like, is that the guy you want to hang your hat on? If you have that guy in the room and you just have to buy him a little time, it’s a tough world out there, there’s 32 jobs. Goff did great this year, but if you really want to hang your hat on somebody, I think Anthony Richardson,” Erdahl said.

Whether the team agrees with this or not remains to be seen, but it’s clear that Richardson is going to be a major topic within the fanbase moving forward, especially after the major performance during the combine. Early on, many see his fit as good with the team.

Richardson does seem to have freakish athletic talents, which could be the future of the position in the NFL. To that degree, he could look like a version of Mahomes in time if given the right seasoning.

This will be for the Lions to sort out in the coming weeks, but expect the hype machine of Richardson to Detroit to only gain in steam.

Anthony Richardson Enjoyed Solid NFL Combine

Perhaps no prospect had a more impressive weekend overall than Richardson, and that’s to Detroit’s advantage in a big way relative to what they may decide to do at quarterback.

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.

Detroit might not need a quarterback, but they could certainly strongly consider one. Richardson is going to command attention in the first-round, which could mean Detroit could secure a trade backward for more picks. The flip-side? The Lions simply take Richardson and develop his obvious talent for a few years.

Combine performances don’t mean everything, of course. The Lions, who’s brass admitted they are skeptical of the value of many combine workouts, will have to weigh how much stock to put into what Richardson did in Indianapolis against his tape, which can be inconsistent at times.

Breaking Down Anthony Richardson’s Fit With Lions

The team has maintained they will not move on from Goff this offseason, but the fact remains that they could still be eying adding competition to add to the room, which has become a hot topic ahead of the offseason.

Goff’s backup is currently Nate Sudfeld, and that might not be good enough for the future. Detroit general manager Brad Holmes discussed the possibility for a significant potential change at the position this offseason, even if Goff doesn’t lose his job.

At the NFL combine on Wednesday, March 1, Holmes’ unique take on Detroit’s quarterback situation was captured by Nolan Bianchi of the Detroit News.

“I feel like last year we left training camp kind of sliding into home plate trying to fill that backup quarterback role. That’s on me, I’ve got to do a better job of making sure we’re not in that position again. So that is something we’re going to need to address whether it’s here in free agency or in the draft. That’s something we’ve had a lot of conversations about. But I’ve got to do a better job of getting that rectified,” Holmes said as shown in Bianchi’s tweet.

Clearly, the Lions are going to be in the market for something at the position, and that is pretty notable heading toward the offseason. Whether or not they are content to draft a quarterback later on, or take a big swing on Richardson remains to be seen.

Already, though, some think Richardson needs to be a bold move for the franchise given the potential he offers for the future.