After months of grueling, exhaustive internal evaluation – and months of grueling, exhausting external speculation – the Colts landed their guy Thursday night.
With the fourth overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Colts selected Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson.
The 6-foot-4, 244 pound Richardson was, according to Pro Football Focus, the "single most impressive athlete at the quarterback position in scouting combine history." His 4.43-second 40-yard dash was the fourth-fastest among quarterbacks at the NFL Combine since 2000; no quarterback had a higher vertical leap (40.5 inches) or longer broad jump (129 inches) than Richardson, too.
Along with those athletic traits, Richardson possesses "rare" arm strength, as the Athletic's Dane Brugler wrote.
"He had the strongest arm that I've ever been around," Florida wide receiver Justin Shorter said at the NFL Combine earlier this year.
As a runner, Richardson ripped off seven rushes of 20 or more yards and added two 50-plus yard runs in 2022. His 39 broken tackles were the fourth-most among quarterbacks the FBS level in 2022, per Pro Football Focus.
As a passer, he frequently pushed the ball deep in the Gators' downfield passing attack, with his throws traveling an average of 11.6 yards beyond the line of scrimmage (fourth-highest at the FBS level) last season. And Richardson was sacked only 13 times in 378 dropbacks last season.
Richardson won't turn 21 until May 22, making him only the second 20-year-old quarterback to be drafted in NFL history (and first since 1950).
"You can't coach his talent and physical ability," ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. wrote, "and NFL coaches will see the tools and try to develop him."
Despite his youth, Richardson was described by Brugler as "humble, hardworking and his coaches say he has the 'required wiring' to digest and apply hard coaching."
Richardson was born in Miami and later moved to Gainesville, Fla., where he studied and trained in fire, EMS and public safety in high school. Because his high school – Professional Academies Magnet at Loften High School – didn't have a football program, he played sports at Eastside High School in Gainesville, where he played quarterback and earned scholarship offers from Georgia, Michigan, Penn State, Virginia Tech and Florida. Richardson chose to stay home in Gainesville and signed with Florida, where he enrolled early in January 2020.
Richardson will join a quarterback room in Indianapolis that already has Gardner Minshew II, Sam Ehlinger and Nick Foles on the roster, and will be coached by Steichen, offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter and quarterbacks coach Cam Turner.
View photos of Florida QB Anthony Richardson, selected fourth overall by the Indianapolis Colts.