Jeff LegwoldESPN Senior Writer2 minute read
INDIANAPOLIS — Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson said he called himself “Cam Jackson” because he loved Cam Newton and Lamar Jackson so much.
During quarterback workouts at the NFL Combine on Saturday, Richardson looked just as physically imposing as Newton and ran almost like Jackson.
At 6-foot-4 and 244 pounds, Richardson set combined records for a quarterback with a vertical jump of 40.5 inches and a wide jump of 10-foot-9. Richardson, in his only attempt, then unleashed an official time of 4.43 seconds in the 40-yard sprint at Lucas Oil Field.
To put that into perspective, Newton, at the 2011 combine, was 6-foot-5, 248 pounds and ran a 4.60 dash for 40 yards. Newton, a future league MVP, also had a 35-inch vertical to go with a 10-foot, 6-inch wide jump at this combine. Jackson, who is considered one of the fastest players in the league, didn’t run a 40-yard sprint for scouts at any time before the 2018 draft, and Kyler Murray didn’t run 40 before. the 2019 draft.
According to ESPN’s Stats & Information research, Richardson’s time is tied for fourth among quarterbacks since 2006. But Richardson is by far the heaviest player in the group.
Texas A&M’s Reggie McNeal ran a 4.35 in 2006 at 198 pounds, Robert Griffin III ran a 4.41 in 2012 at 223 pounds, and Marcus Vick ran a 4.42 at 200 pounds. Denard Robinson had the other 4.43 among quarterbacks, at 199 pounds.
Richardson is one of the top quarterback prospects on the draft board and has met multiple teams with a top-10 pick while in Indianapolis this week. Richardson is the No. 12 ranked player on ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.’s latest big chart.
Starting for just one full season at Florida, Richardson finished with 2,549 passing yards and 17 passing touchdowns last season to go with 654 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns. He started eight games in 2021 as a redshirt rookie. He’s not considered as fine a passer — he had nine interceptions last season — as some of the other quarterbacks in the draft, but his potential has personnel evaluators trying to determine how far he could go in its development to the position.
Richardson, Ohio State’s CJ Stroud and Kentucky’s Will Levis — all top 12 players on Kiper’s big board — were among the quarterbacks who threw drills at the combine on Saturday. Stroud and Richardson were in the second session while Levis was in the first session.
Alabama’s No. 4 prospect Bryce Young of Alabama did not work Saturday and will instead pitch for the teams on his pro day on March 23.
On Friday, Richardson said he intended to show scouts and league personnel executives that he was ready to be an NFL starter. Privately, several reviewers have said in recent days that Richardson did well in his one-on-one interviews with his team when asked to break down gameplay video or dissect parts on a whiteboard.