If the Los Angeles Rams held their own first round pick this year, perhaps Les Snead would have tried to make a move up to acquire Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson. Instead, the Rams could be one of the first teams to face Richardson in his debut NFL season with the Indianapolis Colts.
Picked fourth overall, remarkably high for a player who only played one season as a college starter and without many favorite results for the Gators (17 touchdowns, nine interceptions, 54% completions, 654 rushing yards and nine touchdowns), Richardson transcends quarterback draft value because of his unique blend of size, athleticism, and arm strength.
There were two opposing schools of thought with regards to how he should be managed in the beginning of his NFL journey, with some arguing that he needs to sit for at least one year, if not two, and others saying that he needs experience right away. Even if it means taking some huge lumps in the beginning of his career, including at the cost of wins. The Colts, who hired Shane Steichen as head coach off the heels of helping Jalen Hurts develop into a dual threat star for the Eagles, are almost certainly going with the latter strategy.
Anthony Richardson dropping it in a BUCKET— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) June 7, 2023
Richardson reportedly had the “highlight of the day” today, throwing for a 60+ yard TD.
The Colts rookie QB seems to be progressing in the right direction. pic.twitter.com/JqFdofmkaR
Only having Gardner Minshew and Sam Ehlinger on the roster as competition, Richardson may be a starter sooner rather than 2024.
Minshew follows Steichen from Philadelphia to Indianapolis but he has proven multiple times in his career to not be a starter. The Colts are highly unlikely to make the playoffs in 2023 and they have some questions to answer at receiver anyway, not knowing for sure if they have any quality starters apart from Michael Pittman, Jr., although Alec Pierce showed a lot of potential as a rookie in 2022. It may be the ideal situation then for Indy to let Richardson take his medicine as a rookie, even if it means picking in the top-5 again in 2024.
All the better for them to try and land someone like Marvin Harrison, Jr., reuniting the son with the father’s organization, if the Colts do go 4-13 or worse.
Richardson’s development in minicamps and OTAs so far must be taken with a grain of salt, but there have been positive reports and reasons to think that Indianapolis won’t wait long to put him on the field as the starter. It certainly won’t be Ehlinger.
Anthony Richardson truthers look away pic.twitter.com/5I84U6LCoT— HOT TAKES ANA (free agency WE MOVE) (@FootballGirlAna) June 3, 2023
The Rams face the Colts in Week 4, and by then Richardson may have already taken his place as Indy’s starter. It follows an interesting line of questions in the beginning of the season as far as which quarterbacks L.A. will face, as in Week 2 they have the 49ers (will it be Sam Darnold, Brock Purdy, or Trey Lance?) and then in Week 6 it will be the Cardinals (could Kyler Murray return by then?).
As the L.A. Rams have many questions to answer about their own roster, at least playing against the likes of someone like Anthony Richardson’s Colts could draw some intrigue to the matchup for those fans curious about interesting players on other rosters.