What does success as a rookie look like for Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson?

NFLPA Rookie Premiere Portrait Session
NFLPA Rookie Premiere Portrait Session / Michael Owens/GettyImages

What would be considered a successful rookie season in 2023 for Indianapolis Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson?

When the Indianapolis Colts drafted quarterback Anthony Richardson with the fourth-overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, Richardson inherited a lot of expectations. The Colts had been in desperate need of a young and talented first-round quarterback for a few years. Before Richardson, the last one Indy had was Andrew Luck, and before that, it was Peyton Manning.

So, Richardson was drafted by a team with a rich quarterback history, and everyone is hoping that he’s the guy that brings stability to Indy’s quarterback position. However, while expectations and hopes are high, there’s still space to be realistic. It would be great if Richardson hit the ground running and led Indy to a Super Bowl as a rookie, but that’s unlikely.

So, what would actually be a successful rookie season for Richardson that’s also realistic? Gary Davenport answered that in a recent piece for Bleacher Report, looking at what each first-year QB needs to accomplish for their rookie seasons to be a succes.

For Richardson, Davenport argued that success would be for Richardson to “start from the jump and flash.” Davenport highlighted how Colts owner Jim Irsay wants Richardson to play early, and emphasized that as long as Richardson is flashing some of his special traits, his first year is going to be promising. Davenport concluded by saying Richardson’s rookie season would be especially successful if he plays better than one of the two QBs drafted ahead of him.

All are fair points by Davenport. The quarterbacks drafted in 2023 will forever be linked, that’s just the nature of sports, so playing better than the other top guys is certainly a way to earn recognition. However, Davenport’s first point is likely what everyone is hoping to see: Richardson on the field making plays through his ups and downs.

Oftentimes, critics can be impatient, but when it comes to a young quarterback, it’s all about seeing something that can be built upon. So that means unleashing Richardson and letting him use his athleticism, show off his big arm, and grow through his mistakes. If Richardson does that throughout his rookie season, it would be a success, and everyone would be excited to see how Richardson develops moving forward.