The Las Vegas Raiders have the opportunity to add a major piece at next month’s NFL Draft with the seventh overall selection. As such, the franchise must do its homework and consider all options and possibilities as to who that player should be.
Even though the team just signed veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason, he is not someone whom many would consider a true franchise quarterback. This year’s draft class features a number of very promising prospects at the position and arguably none are more tantalizing than Florida’s Anthony Richardson.
Richardson is viewed by most as a potential top-10 pick in the draft and the Raiders are doing their due diligence. According to Myles Simmons of Pro Football Talk, the Raiders had dinner with Richardson on Wednesday:
To that end, NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero reports that Richardson met with the Panthers and had dinner with the Raiders on Wednesday.
Owners of the No. 1 overall pick, the Panthers have been meeting with all of the top quarterbacks in this year’s incoming class. The Raiders have been doing much of the same, though they have the No. 7 overall pick.
With Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud regarded as the likely top-two selections of this year’s draft, Richardson appears more likely to be available for Las Vegas than other QBs.
The Raiders also recently met with Alabama’s Bryce Young, but as Simmons points out, he and Stroud are expected to be the top two picks in the draft and thus are highly unlikely to be around when the Raiders pick at seven. But Richardson could very well be available and his upside may be the highest of anyone in the draft.
At the NFL Scouting Combine Richardson measured at 6-foot-4 and 1/4 tall and 244 pounds and his athletic ability is off the charts. He set the combine record for quarterbacks with a 40.5-inch vertical jump while his 4.43-second forty-yard dash was the fourth fastest among QBs in the last 20 years. He also tied the record for the broad jump by a quarterback with a 10-foot-9-inch jump.
The concern for Richardson comes with his lack of polish as an overall quarterback. While he has things you can’t teach athletically, his numbers at Florida last season were not the greatest. In 12 games last year Richardson completed just 53.8% of his passes for 2,549 yards and 17 touchdowns to 9 interceptions.
But if the Raiders coaching staff believes they can harness that potential and help him improve where he needs to, they could roll the dice on what could be a franchise-altering selection.