When Anthony Richardson takes his first snap in a Colts uniform, it'll be the first time anyone has seen a player with his athletic profile play quarterback in the NFL.
Seriously. The first time.
If Richardson plays at 244 pounds – his weight at the NFL Combine — he'd be tied for the 17th-heaviest quarterback in league history. That's the starting point for some context on Richardson's athleticism.
Why? Because Richardson logged the fourth-fastest 40-yard dash time (4.43 seconds) among quarterbacks at the NFL Combine since 2000. The three guys who ran faster weighed 210 pounds (Michael Vick), 223 pounds (Robert Griffin III) and 198 pounds (Reggie McNeal).
In fact, Richardson is just one of 11 players to weigh at least 244 pounds and run a sub-4.44 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine since 2000. The positions of the other 10 players: Defensive end, tight end, linebacker. Some of their names: Vernon Davis, Von Miller, Micah Parsons.
Players Richardson's size are rarely as fast as he is. But that only tells part of the story.
Richardson also recorded a 40.5-inch vertical leap and a 129-inch (10 3/4 feet) broad jump. He's one of 14 players at the NFL Combine since 2000 to have a 40-inch vertical and 129-inch broad jump. The positions of the other 13 players: Linebacker, running back, tight end, defensive end. Some of their names: A.J. Dillon, Mike Gesicki, Bud Dupree, Jamie Collins.
Combine all these things together – 244 pounds, 4.43 40-yard dash, 40.5-inch vertical, 129-inch broad jump – and run them through NFL Combine data since 2000 and you get one player.
You might say — well, when is he going to need to leap 40 inches off the ground in a game? How often will he run 40 yards in a straight line? How will being able to jump more than 10 feet actually help him play quarterback?
Those questions miss the point.
Athletic testing shouldn't be viewed as some rigid, siloed thing. Richardson is a remarkable athlete, whose speed (with the 40-yard dash) and explosiveness (with the vertical leap and broad jump) are quantified with those testing numbers.
And they're particularly useful for comparing one player to another. MockDraftable, a website that compiles historical NFL Combine data, took Richardson's measurements and testing from this year's combine and was unable to produce a single quarterback that's at least a 75 percent match to him. The closest two matches – 69.8 percent and 69.3 percent – are Daunte Culpepper and Cam Newton, respectively.
In fact, the closest match among all active or former NFL players is Khalil Mack (89.8 percent), the banshee edge rusher who's terrorized opposing offenses for nearly a decade with the Raiders, Bears and Chargers.
For comparison sake, when the Buffalo Bills drafted Josh Allen in 2018, there were three players that were at least an 80 percent match to his athletic profile (Andrew Luck, Blaine Gabbert and Carson Wentz). Newton had two comps over 70 percent (Quinton Porter, Culpepper). And Griffin matched over 80 percent with four quarterbacks (Vick, D.J. Shockley, Tee Martin and Brad Smith).
So now, it'll be on Shane Steichen, the Colts and Richardson himself to use these truly unique traits to develop the most athletic quarterback prospect in NFL history in the coming months and years.
"I'm able to do everything on the field -- run over people, jump over people, run past people, throw the ball pretty well," Richardson said at the NFL Combine. "Just tying it all together, I feel like that just helps me become a better quarterback."
View photos of Florida QB Anthony Richardson, selected fourth overall by the Indianapolis Colts.
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