As Anthony Richardson prepares for his first season with the Indianapolis Colts, he recently received a special designation amongst NFL rookies.
Indianapolis Colts rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson hasn’t played a down in the NFL yet, but it’s looking like he’s on pace to be a fan favorite. The NFLPA recently made that clear with its rising stars list. The rising stars list, or “rising retail kings,” is an annual list by the NFLPA that projects which veterans and rookies will excel on the field, gain fans, “and ultimately rank among the top-sellers of all officially licensed player merchandise.”
On Thursday, the NFLPA released the 2023 edition, and of the 10 rookies listed, Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson was listed at No. 1. That means the NFLPA expects a lot of fans to be rocking a No. 5 Colts jersey soon.
NFLPA projects Anthony Richardson will be top-selling rookie
The NFLPA explained that this projection comes from several factors. Here’s a look at the factors that helped Richardson land atop the rookie projections.
"These factors include on-field performance, early demand for content and marketing from NFLPA partners, fantasy league status, collegiate name, image and likeness deals, the players' existing reach to a massive audience of fans, participation in Rookie Premiere, product submissions from over 90 NFLPA licensees, support from team fan bases, and emerging talent in strong markets."- NFLPA
While it’s certainly still extremely early in his career, Anthony Richardson has already been demonstrating that he has what it takes to be a star. For starters, he has a fan-friendly playing style, thanks to his athleticism, and that was on display during his collegiate career at Florida. Additionally, Richardson knows how to show up and give the people a show.
When he knew everyone was locking in to the 2023 Scouting Combine to see what kind of numbers Richardson would record, he gave the people what they wanted to see, and even threw in a backflip that has become apart of his reputation.
Fans are also starting to see Richardson’s personality through the content that the Colts have shared. From jokes during his media sessions to dances on the practice field, Richardson already has fans enamored. Most importantly, he’s a good person by all accounts. Everyone learned that to be the case when a story about him helping to clean up after an event went viral.
All that’s left for Richardson to do is get on the field and ball out. That will be the toughest part of the equation, but with his talent, the coaching in Indianapolis, and the players surrounding him, Anthony Richardson should be an elite player sooner or later.