Michael Lombardi explains why fans shouldn’t expect Colts to draft Anthony Richardson

Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson (15) passes during the 2023 NFL Pro Day held at
Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson (15) passes during the 2023 NFL Pro Day held at / Doug Engle / USA TODAY NETWORK

Although many people are expecting the Indianapolis Colts to draft Anthony Richardson, Michael Lombardi explains why he doesn’t see that happening.

As the 2023 NFL Draft approaches, the expectation of Anthony Richardson being taken in the top five continues to grow. Several analysts are confident that Richardson won’t make it past No. 5, and believe that he’s really a fit for the Indianapolis Colts at No. 4. Many experts are even predicting that the Colts, or another team, will trade up to No. 3 just to draft Richardson.

However, former NFL executive and current analyst, Michael Lombardi, isn’t convinced that Richardson will actually be drafted in the top three like everyone expects. In a recent appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, Lombardi explained that he thinks Richardson is “uniquely talented” and certainly has a high ceiling, however, he believes that the perception of Richardson isn’t matching his film.

Lombardi expressed that Richardson has tools that didn’t necessarily translate to impressive game tape, and in the NFL, film is paramount. For that reason, Lombardi isn’t a believer that teams like the Colts will use a top pick on Richardson. He compared it to last year’s draft and the pre-draft hype that Malik Willis garnered. Entering the draft, it seemed like Willis was a lock for the first round, but ultimately slid to the third round.

Richardson may not slide that far, but according to Lombardi, he won’t be picked in the top five by the Colts either.

Will Colts pass on Anthony Richardson?

Lombardi may have a point. Immediately following the college football season, the grade wasn’t that high for Richardson. Everyone knew he had talent and a high ceiling, but the intial expectation was that he’ll be a project quarterback that a team would gamble on late in the first round or early in the second round.

However, to Richardson’s credit, he has dominated the pre-draft evaluation period. The combination of his workouts, meetings with teams, and charting of his college film that has led many to believe his accuracy isn’t that big of a problem, changed the narrative on Richardson. He went from a project quarterback to possibly the No. 1 pick.

But, as Lombardi said, the film. Chris Ballard has even been pretty transparent about the fact that he values the film and doesn’t put too much stock into the prospects throwing in shorts and T-shirts. If Lombardi is right, and teams don’t consider Richardson a top-five pick, then what are the Colts going to do at No. 4?

Film is important but demand is as well. Will Indianapolis draft Will Levis, who also has concerning film? Will Indy trade back and draft one of the QBs later in the first round? Will the Colts just skip addressing quarterback all together and draft a defensive player? Who knows, but if the approach isn’t drafting a quarterback, Indianapolis better be acquiring Lamar Jackson.

The Colts have gone too far without consistent quarterback play and they must find a way to stop that this offseason.

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