Florida Gators’ Anthony Richardson a top-10 pick in ESPN’s new mock draft

Analyst Mel Kiper has the former Florida quarterback going to an NFC South team as an early first-round pick.
Former Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson is a top-10 pick in ESPN analyst Mel Kiper's mock draft.
Former Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson is a top-10 pick in ESPN analyst Mel Kiper's mock draft. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]
Published Jan. 25, 2023|Updated Jan. 25, 2023

Former Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson will be a top-10 pick and head to the NFC South, if ESPN analyst Mel Kiper’s latest mock draft is correct.

Kiper has Richardson going to the Panthers with the No. 9 overall pick. Kiper writes that Richardson would not be expected to start in Year 1 in this scenario; perhaps Carolina uses a bridge quarterback like Sam Darnold to give Richardson the equivalent of a professional redshirt year.

Related: Florida Gators QB Anthony Richardson entering 2023 NFL draft

“He’s not an NFL-ready thrower,” Kiper writes. “But he is an awesome talent, a raw quarterback in a 6-foot-4 frame who would be one of the league’s most electrifying runners as soon as he steps on the field.”

Richardson is one of the most interesting prospects in the draft because his production in three years at Florida (one as the full-time starter) did not match his sky-high potential. He dazzled in the opener against Utah but completed only 9 of his 27 passes in his final game, a loss at Florida State. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Richardson go in the top 10 (as some other prognosticators are writing), nor would it be a surprise to see him picked on Day 2. We’ll monitor how projections change over the coming weeks as he goes through interviews and workouts.

Richardson was the only player from a state program on the mock draft Kiper released Wednesday morning, though former Gators guard O’Cyrus Torrence was mentioned as a possibility.

Related: Gators’ 2023 roster is nothing like what Billy Napier inherited

Kiper had the Bucs picking former Georgia Tech defensive lineman Keion White with the No. 19 overall pick. White started his college career at Old Dominion and transferred to the Yellow Jackets, where he was a third-team all-ACC performer in his final season.

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