Anthony Richardson hasn’t played for Colts yet and he’s already being called a bust

Fourth-overall pick Anthony Richardson is already being called a bust, despite not taking the field yet for the Indianapolis Colts.
June 14, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson (5) works
June 14, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson (5) works / IndyStar-USA TODAY Sports

The bust label is something that every high draft pick hopes to avoid. It means a player that entered the league with high expectations, fell incredibly short of reaching those expectations. While every position can technically be a bust, the position that usually gets the tag thrown its way the most is quarterback.

The Indianapolis Colts currently have a young quarterback that everyone is hoping won’t be a bust. Selected fourth-overall in the 2023 NFL Draft, Anthony Richardson is a dynamic QB that was brought to Indy to bring stability to the quarterback position. With his talent, a lot of people believe he has a chance to be a really great quarterback. Naturally, time will tell.

However, the bust label is already being thrown at Richardson, despite the fact that he’s yet to play a single snap in the NFL. In a recent Bleacher Report article by Alex Ballentine, Ballentine predicted the biggest bust of the 2023 season for every NFL team. For the Colts, Anthony Richardson was predicted to be the biggest bust in 2023.

Bleacher Report says Anthony Richardson will be Colts biggest bust in 2023

Ballentine wanted to make clear that this prediction is about 2023 only, saying, “this is only a list of players who will be considered "busts" this season. There are a lot of reasons to buy Anthony Richardson in the long term.” So Ballentine isn’t arguing that Richardson will be a bad quarterback in general, but just in 2023.

As for why Richardson is predicted to underwhelm in 2023, Ballentine argues that while the ceiling is high for the young quarterback, he still needs experience, so whenever he gets on the field, “there's going to be good, bad and ugly.” Ballentine concludes by saying expectations should be “relatively low” for Richardson’s first year.

Ballentine’s argument is fair, Richardson does need to develop and he will have growing pains. However, everyone knows that, and that’s why it’s unfair for Ballentine to label Richardson a bust, even if it’s just for a year. Sure, Colts fans are hoping that Richardson can start from day one and be phenomenal out the gate, but everyone knows that’s the best-case scenario, and ultimately unlikely.

The expectations is for Richardson to eventually be a really good quarterback. The immediate expectation for Richardson is for him to show promise as he transitions to the NFL game and develops. So even if his first year consist of a lot of struggling, he won’t be considered a bust.