Huddle up! With the NFL Draft on Thursday, here are three key questions surrounding the pro and the college teams in the state.
How high will Anthony Richardson get selected?
It’s not going out on a limb to say Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson is the biggest wild card of this year’s NFL Draft.
And where he gets taken in the draft (or how many teams bypass him) will have ripple effects throughout the entire league.
Richardson has gotten a lot of attention in the past few months as a rising prospect, despite the fact he is raw as a passer and decision-maker. He only completed 53.8% of his passes last year for the Gators.
But teams desperate for a quarterback are enticed by his athleticism and arm strength, and might feel they can be the ones to correct his flaws and turn him into a franchise quarterback.
Some mock drafts have Richardson going as high as No. 4 to Indianapolis, while others have him much lower in the first round.
Regardless, the sporting world will finally figure out if all the talk about Richardson in the months leading up to the draft was hollow hype, or a legit love affair.
Should Bucs try for a quarterback this year or wait until 2024?
Speaking of teams that need a franchise quarterback, Tampa Bay is certainly in that boat. However, the Buccaneers likely won’t be finding their main this year, given they select No. 19 overall and are devoid of much draft capital to trade up.
Unless someone like Richardson or Will Levis falls all the way down to No. 19, it might be best for the Buccaneers to exercise patience, grin and bear it for 2023 with the likes of Kyle Trask or Baker Mayfield, and hope to be in better position to land a franchise quarterback in the 2024 draft when more might be readily available (Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, Michael Penix, etc.).
In what looks like a rebuilding year anyway, putting other roster pieces in place wouldn’t be the worst strategy.
Dolphins hamstrung by lack of picks
After having five first-round picks over the last two years, things will be quite different for the Miami Dolphins this year in what might be a boring draft for them.
With Miami having its first-round draft pick stripped by the NFL for breaking the league’s tampering policy, the Dolphins not only don’t have a first-round pick this year, but have only four total.
That might explain why the Dolphins swung a trade for cornerback Jalen Ramsey earlier this year, knowing trades and free agency were going to be the bigs ways to improve the roster this offseason.