The Baltimore Ravens will meet with quarterback Anthony Richardson at the NFL Scouting Combine, according to multiple reports. Richardson could be a fit for the Ravens if current quarterback Lamar Jackson departs in free agency or via a blockbuster trade. The Ravens are a potential landing spot for Richardson in the 2023 NFL Draft.
The Ravens own the No. 23 overall selection in April’s draft. It’s within striking distance of where Richardson is currently expected to be drafted. Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta could stick and pick at 23 or Baltimore could move into the top-15 to potentially ensure they land Richardson’s services. Draft capital won’t be an issue for Baltimore if they intend to draft Richardson, because it likely means they acquired a boatload of picks in exchange for Jackson.
Jackson may be in a world of his own, but there’s no denying the athletic traits that make Richardson a dynamic quarterback prospect. A first-year starter in 2022, Richardson finished the season with 2,549 passing yards, 17 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. The most electric dual-threat quarterback in the 2023 class, Richardson added 654 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns to his offensive totals.
Richardson possesses the athleticism necessary to pick up chunks of yardage with his legs, both via designed quarterback runs and outside of structure when plays break down. Richardson’s best landing spot for success is similar to how Baltimore has utilized Jackson over the years. As a pure thrower, Richardson has the arm strength to test throwing windows at every level of the field.
Drafting Richardson to replace Jackson would allow Baltimore to continue running a variation of the offensive system in place. It’s worth acknowledging the Ravens have a new offensive coordinator in Todd Monken. Monken just won back-to-back national championships at Georgia while overseeing a rushing attack that averaged 205.3 yards per contest throughout 2022. Monken has previous experience as an NFL offensive coordinator. Monken’s 2019 Cleveland Browns averaged 118.8 rushing yards per contest. He could be an ideal fit for Baltimore’s run-first identity, even while transitioning from Jackson to Richardson.
The sky’s the limit for Richardson as a signal-caller. Richardson isn’t shy to push the ball down the field vertically. High-level velocity allows Richardson to attempt confident throws into condensed spaces. There are instances of questionable decision-making when combing through Richardson’s tape, but the highs are extremely high and make him a potential franchise-altering quarterback. Jackson was a similarly divisive prospect coming out of Louisville, but the Ravens weren’t bothered by the perceived negatives. They could follow a similar train of thought with Richardson.
The Ravens have other pressing needs at wide receiver and cornerback. But if Jackson is allowed to depart Baltimore, there won’t be a bigger hole than the one created at quarterback. Attention would immediately shift toward finding their signal-caller of the future.
Jackson and the Ravens continue to be at a stalemate in regard to contract negotiations. The Ravens could place the non-exclusive franchise tag on Jackson, which would allow the former MVP winner to negotiate with competing franchises. DeCosta would reserve the right to match outside offer sheets. The Ravens would receive two first-round selections in exchange for Jackson. Jackson could conceivably play elsewhere.
There’s no offseason storyline worth following more than Jackson’s sweepstakes. The Ravens could replace Jackson with Richardson. Stranger things have happened.
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