NFL Draft season is officially upon us. The 2023 NFL Combine is underway with the future stars of tomorrow in the National Football League putting their skills on display in front of their future employer in the city of Indianapolis.
Speaking of future employers, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been busy conducting a multitude of formal interviews with some of the biggest names at the NFL Combine, University of Florida quarterback prospect Anthony Richardson.
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One of the most intriguing prospects of the 2023 NFL Draft is quarterback Anthony Richardson.
Standing at 6’4 with a solid 244 pound frame, Richardson looks every bit the part of a quarterback in the NFL.
He is blessed with a combination of game-breaking speed, a strong arm and running back-like ability as a ball carrier.
That rare combination of skills at the quarterback position enticed the Bucs to conduct a formal interview with the 21-year-old prospect.
Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweeted, “#Gators QB Anthony Richardson said today he had a formal interview with Bucs GM Jason Licht and HC Todd Bowles at the NFL scouting combine. “I have. It went pretty well. Just getting to know them. Talking about my life. Talking about ball. Pretty well. It went pretty well.”
Some might question whether or not the Buccaneers should even be in the market for a quarterback that has been projected to go in the first round seeing that they spent a second-round pick on another quarterback out of the University of Florida, Kyle Trask, who is currently the only quarterback under contract for the Bucs heading into the 2023 NFL season.
During a press conference at the NFL Combine, Richardson spoke very highly of his time as a teammate of Trask, who were both members of the 2020 Florida Gators team.
“Kyle is a legend. He’s a Florida legend…” said Richardson. “He taught me, you know, how important it is to wait your turn and how important it is to grind. That guy knew everything in the offense. He knew the blocking schemes, the receiver routes, his checks, everything. At one point in time, he was calling plays for himself. So, the Bucs can definitely expect that from him again because he’s a guy thats great mentally and has a beautiful arm.”
Despite Trask having a phenomenal year in 2020, throwing for 4,283 yards and 43 touchdowns on his way to being named a Heisman Trophy finalist, he is yet to throw his first touchdown pass in the NFL.
The main reason Trask has yet to see significant action in the NFL through his first two seasons is that he was playing behind the man who is widely regarded as the greatest quarterback in the history of the league, Tom Brady.
Brady announced his retirement from the sport of football back on February 1, which has the Bucs currently weighing their options at the quarterback position.
Ironically enough, Richardson actually mentioned Brady when talking about his career aspirations in the NFL.
“I want to be a legend…” added Richardson. “I want to be like Patrick Mahomes. I want to be like Tom Brady. I want to be one of the greats. I will be one of the greats, you know, because I’m willing to work that hard and get to that point.”
While Richardson may want to be like Brady and Mahomes, he actually named two other quarterbacks as part of his inspiration growing up.
“Growing up it was always Cam Newton for me,” Richardson said smiling. “But then when I got out of high school, just seeing how dynamic Lamar (Jackson) was, I tried to implement both of those guys in my life. And I started calling myself Cam Jackson in 11th grade, just trying to make big plays.”
Oddly enough, one could definitely argue that Richardson combines the strength and size of Cam Newton with the explosive speed of Lamar Jackson when analyzing him as a prospect.
Anthony Richardson Puts on a Show at the NFL Combine
When a reporter asked Richardson about his speed, he had a very confident response.
“How fast I am? I say I’m fast,” Richardson said right before bursting into joyful laughter.
Well, Richardson delivered on that statement by running an official 4.43 at the NFL Combine on March 4.
Another NFC South team asked Richardson if he runs the 40-yard-dash faster than his former Florida Gator teammate, Kyle Pitts, who participated at the NFL Combine in 2021.
Well, Richardson’s ended up besting Pitts 4.44 by a hundredth of a second (0.01).