Insider Projects Raiders to Trade 3 Picks to Land 6-Foot-4 QB With Big Arm

josh mcdaniels dave ziegler

Getty Josh McDaniels & Dave Ziegler of the Las Vegas Raiders.

The NFL Scouting Combine is coming up and teams will start to get a closer look at the top prospects in the draft. One player who could be among the biggest risers following the combine is Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson. He has all the athletic traits a team wants from a rookie quarterback but had major accuracy issues in college.

The Las Vegas Raiders are among the teams with the biggest need at quarterback following the release of Derek Carr. The Athletic’s Vic Tafur previously reported that general manager Dave Ziegler is “intrigued” by Richardson. He’s the biggest boom-or-bust prospect in the entire draft. The Raiders might need to take a big swing to catch up to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West. The Athletic put together a beat writer mock draft and Tashan Reed had the Raiders send a first-round pick, third-round pick and fifth-round to the Seattle Seahawks to move up to No. 5 and draft Richardson:

The 6-foot-4, 232-pound quarterback has all the size you want along with a cannon for an arm capable of making every throw on the field and the speed, acceleration and power to have a massive impact on the ground. He needs to improve his accuracy, processing ability and overall fundamentals, but he’s not as much of a project as many think. He may not be ready to start right away, but the Raiders could re-sign Jarrett Stidham or bring in Jacoby Brissett as a stop-gap option to give themselves insurance for 2023.

Richardson Is Going to Wow in Pre-Draft Workouts

Giving up a third-round pick and a fifth-round pick to land a franchise quarterback isn’t a steep price to pay. If the Raiders believe that Richardson is the quarterback they want, they’ll do what they can to get him. No. 5 seems high for such a raw prospect but he’s going to look great in pre-draft workouts and could have a similar rise that Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen had ahead of the 2018 NFL Draft.

“Allen had this great throw at the combine when he was coming out — it was like a 70-yard bomb — and it kind of made us all sit up and take notice,” an NFL general manager told Matt Miller of ESPN. “Richardson will do that, too. And not those fake roll-out throws with tons of momentum. He’ll just drop back and chuck it.”

There Are Big Concerns With Richardson’s Accuracy

Richardson is big, fast and may have the strongest arm of any quarterback in the draft. However, no matter how good he looks in pre-draft workouts, there are major issues that stand out in game tape. He has serious accuracy issues that are going to be difficult to fix.

“It all goes back to accuracy — trying to fix his accuracy. I’m not sure you can,” an AFC scout told Miller at the Senior Bowl. “Everyone wants to talk about Allen this and Allen that, but the fact of the matter is he completed under 55% of his passes, and some of those misses were all-time misses.”

Allen is an outlier in terms of quarterbacks who came into the NFL with accuracy issues but were able to fix them. Richardson will have to prove to teams that he’s willing to put in a lot of work to become a better passer. If he can become an accurate passer, his ceiling is as high as any quarterback currently in the NFL.

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Ernie Cabrera
Ernie Cabrera
6 months ago

History has proven that performances at the combine don’t necessarily reflect in a players performance in their NFL career, How many so called beasts in the combine have turned into NFL failures? Personally, I don’t feel Ziegler nor McDaniels have proven anything yet, that they can perform their positions well when solely in charge (good assistants, yes). But after some of the recent articles I’ve read I guess we need to get out & stat playing the violins for them because their just wasn’t a winning culture in place & they’re having to change it all! I have no confidence in them at this point to make the right decision in regards to the drafting of a quarterback or giving away draft choices (as many) as many as have been mentioned, to move up a couple of spots. By the way where in the draft was Mahomes selected (surely not in the top 5)? If McDaniels is such a great quarterback coach, then it shouldn’t matter which one they draft. My only hope is that after the draft, we make the right choices & actually become a better team.