The Seattle Seahawks might look to take a quarterback high in the 2023 NFL draft. That quarterback could be Florida's Anthony Richardson. Richardson had his pro day on Thursday and the results ranged from spectacular to "Well, he needs work."
While there is a very real chance - and perhaps Seattle should - the Seahawks take a defensive player with their first choice in April's draft, they also worked Geno Smith's offseason contract extension in such a way that if Smith to be gone after 2023, the team wouldn't be hurt so much by wasted cap space. This means Seattle could very much think of taking a quarterback at number 5, letting that quarterback mostly sit for a year and learn from Smith, and then implement the QB as the starter in 2024.
If this is truly what general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll want to do in this draft for the future of the team, Richardson might be the perfect prospect to take at number 5. At his pro day, Richardson showcased intriguing skills and some that aren't NFL ready. Still, if Seattle wants to grab a guy who needs to learn for a year and then unleash him upon the NFL, Richardson showed so much promise that he might be tough to pass on.
Observation No. 1: Seahawks have to love Richardson's raw ability
At the 2023 NFL combine, Richardson broke records for quarterbacks for the broad jump (10'9") and vertical jump (40.5 inches). Those are tremendous feats for a human being and likely better than most of the population on earth, but here is the thing: Quarterbacks aren't going to win games impressing defenses but how far they can jump. The quarterback is going to have to be able to transpose raw physicality into cool on-field production.
But what Richardson was able to do during his pro day was show that he can throw on the run and throw the ball easily downfield while doing so. And sure, Richardson was able to drop back and throw a pass 70 yards like it was 5 yards. Most human can't do that either.
A team has to think to itself, if it wants to draft Richardson, "I bet we can take this ability, hone it, and turn this guy into a Hall of Famer. Because if a team chooses a quarterback fifth overall in the draft, that's the best a team can hope for. And this might be what Schneider and Carroll are thinking as well.