Draft Experts Explain Anthony Richardson’s Quality Fit With Lions

Anthony Richardson

Getty Anthony Richardson celebrates a 2021 touchdown vs. LSU.

The Detroit Lions are heading into the pre-draft period, and are likely keeping everything on the table as it relates to best preparing for their future.

Early on, most see the team as having strong needs on defense, but from time to time, many still choose to believe in the possibility of the Lions selecting a quarterback at some point in the 2023 NFL draft.

Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network continues to beat the drum for this situation playing out, and in a recent mock draft, had Richardson going to Detroit with the 18th overall pick. With defense a focus, that hasn’t been a common occurrence in most mocks.

Jeremiah clearly likes the potential fit of Richardson in Detroit given his ceiling, and it was a take he addressed on a recent conference call. He picked the Lions as an intriguing fit for Richardson, and said that the team may not even have the luxury of waiting for their second first-round selection if they like him enough.

“I know he hasn’t played a ton, but teams are starting to look at some of these quarterbacks as lottery tickets, and this one has the biggest payout. That’s why I think you’re going to see Richardson go pretty high. The reason I have him there with the Lions is, I think, sometimes when you have those two picks (in Round 1), I don’t want to say it’s a luxury — because you’re trying to get good players — but when you look at the landscape of the NFL right now, and you look at the high-end quarterback play, this gives you an opportunity to take a shot at one of those guys who could be that. He’s not at that level right now, but ceiling-wise, with him and Jared Goff, his ceiling is immensely higher. Jared is a solid, steady player right now. He’s playing winning football. But I think there is a ceiling on him. With Richardson, you don’t have a ceiling. That’s why I think you’ll see him go. But in making calls the last couple days, I don’t even think he’ll get (to No. 18),” Jeremiah said as written in the piece.

Drafting a quarterback with the sixth-overall pick or even 18 is not without risk for Detroit. The Lions have more pressing needs than a quarterback, and Richardson would be unlikely to see the field in any capacity for at least a couple seasons. Still, the Lions have four picks within the first two rounds, and if they believe Richardson is the best answer at the position, the gamble could be worth it in time.

That fact could be especially true given Richardson’s ability to potentially dramatically change the game at his spot on the field.

Detroit will have a major call to make at the position, and for now, some see Richardson in fantastic alignment with where the Lions are currently at as an organization. Whether the decision makers agree with this fact remains to be seen.

ESPN Insider: Lions ‘Fit’ for Anthony Richardson

Looking at the quarterback and seeing a fit with the Lions is common in the media right now. Much like Jeremiah, ESPN looked at the quarterback and saw a similar situation in Detroit.

Analyst Matt Miller took a closer look at breaking down Richardson’s overall game, and as part of that, he looked at team fits for the quarterback. As Miller wrote, he believes that a stable situation with a patient team is one where Richardson will flourish.

“A team’s front office and coaching staff has to believe it has the structure in place to give Richardson a boost in his game. The organization will need a plan and some patience,” Miller wrote in the piece of Richardson.

All of that leads itself to a situation where as Miller writes, the Lions represent a solid fit for Richardson. Similar to Jeremiah, Miller understands that the Lions could offer the quarterback a solid structure where he could grow and develop under Jared Goff, and yet not be too depended on in the near future.

Anthony Richardson’s Stats & Highlights

While he is being mentioned as a top prospect for the 2023 NFL draft, it’s easy to see why some are drawing a parallel between Richardson and the Lions.

At 21, Richardson has age on his side as well as ample time to figure out the position. He has thrown for 3,105 yards, 24 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in college. He’s also run for 1,116 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground.

Richardson is capable of plenty of electric plays as the highlights show, but also some big mistakes at times as his interception numbers show:

If Richardson was the pick for the Lions, he would likely be stashed for a few years as he learned the league and position. To that end, he could be an interesting fit for Detroit as some of the insiders seem to believe at this point in time.

Chock full of potential, Richardson seems to be one of the best examples of a boom-or-bust prospect in the draft. The Lions could offer him a shot at a lot more boom if these pieces of analysis are to be believed.

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