In a recent discussion on the top QB prospects at the upcoming NFL combine, Charles McDonald from Yahoo Sports and Derrik Klassen from Football Outsiders shared their thoughts on whether Florida's Anthony Richardson could potentially become the top pick in the draft this April.
CHARLES MCDONALD: Anthony Richardson, quarterback from Florida. If Anthony Richardson works out, this is going to be one of the best quarterback workouts ever, right?
DERRIK KLASSEN: Dude, he's going to be a super athlete, if he actually doesn't test everything. I mean, he might run in the four fours. He's going to be explosive as hell when he does jumps. His three cone and all, that stuff could probably be pretty good. He is one of the best athletes we've seen at the position.
I guess Fields is pretty comparable recently. And since Cam, that's probably about it. It's those two guys, just in terms of physical skill sets.
CHARLES MCDONALD: Yeah, he's one of these guys that you create in Madden, and try to mold into a real X factor quarterback. But if I was Anthony Richardson, I would really see no reason not to work out here. With combine training and the way that athletes prepare for this singular event, I don't see why you couldn't run in the four threes, just based on-- I mean, we've seen him multiple times run away from entire college defenses, and make guys a lot smaller than him look slow.
So I wouldn't be surprised to see him run in the four threes. And then once you get into the throwing drills, all you got to do is just show off that you have a pitcher arm, and you can really fling that [BLEEP] all around the field. So I think that if he tests, and is in shape, and goes to the board room, and has shown progression there, and is able to impress the teams? I think we might start hearing some legit number one overall pick talk for him, kind of in the same way that we did hear about Josh Allen back in his year, where you look at the production and some of the stuff, and it's not clean.
But the skill set is really hard to ignore, when you're thinking about NFL coaches and their ability to potentially mold something out of this.
DERRIK KLASSEN: Yeah. If he handles business at the combine, I think, especially like in meetings and stuff. Because I think when you watch the film, there are some inconsistencies, only a one year starter. But if he kills it on the whiteboard, and in meetings, and teams really like him, there really is no reason he shouldn't be considered one.
Because if you're that kind of athlete, and you can actually prove yourself on the whiteboard, and prove that maybe some of the inconsistencies at Florida were just product of circumstance, then I don't know, man. You're going to be something else. Because for as much as I like a guy like CJ Stroud at quarterback, the ceiling for Richardson is just so-- it's Josh Allen.
It feels crazy. We're going to do this with every guy that looks like this. But that legitimately is what you're shooting for.
CHARLES MCDONALD: Yeah. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Alabama quarterback Bryce Young decidedly not 6' 4", 240. And I think that this is probably going to be one of the biggest moments of the entire combine, just his weigh-in. I don't know if he's going to run or throw or do the other test. But his weigh-in number is going to be crucial.
How big of an impediment-- I know we talked about this with Nick Tice last week. But one, how big of an impediment is his size as his NFL projection goes? And then two, what size should we actually expect him to be next week?
DERRIK KLASSEN: I mean, I think it's pretty bad. Because I think you can start with just height. I think in terms of height, height is almost always for quarterbacks going to inform play style. And I think Young does an OK job playing from the pocket in college and stuff, probably a little bit better than even Kyler Murray did.
But once you get to the NFL, it's just going to be a little bit different. Guys are bigger, and it's just going to be a little bit harder. And I think he already is kind of naturally a guy who wants to get outside the pocket. Because when you're 5' 10", it's just easier to see when you're outside of the pocket. And I think that play style is going to be really hard for him. Because he's the nice athlete, but he's not Kyler Murray. He's not what Russell Wilson was. He's closer to an Alex Smith type athlete, which is fine.
But when you're talking about a guy who might go first overall, that's not enough, in my opinion. And then in terms of weight, I'm expecting him to be around 190, 195. Because he'll probably try to bulk up a little bit for the combine and stuff. But if he's anything under 205, I'm really concerned. Not even for one hit is going to take him out, and he's going to snap a knee or something like that.
But it's really hard to take years and years of punishment at the NFL level, when you're under 205 pounds. We're already seeing it with Kyler Murray. Kyler Murray is constantly banged up, and he's even thicker than I think Bryce Young is probably ever going to be. So that's really my thing with Bryce Young, is I think in the short term, he could be a really good player. It's just the long term is-- it's so hard for me to envision him being a high level player seven years from now.