AR, JSN enter draft; others staying … Florida 3rd-Year Sophomore QB Anthony Richardson, maybe the most polarizing prospect in the 2023 draft field, has confirmed that he will be entering the upcoming draft. Same for Ohio State junior WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba. As well, neither will play in their team’s upcoming bowl. That’s especially disappointing for Smith-Njigba, who came into the season rated as a sure-fire top 5-10 prospect after a sterling breakout year last fall, but he has barely played this year because of a lingering hamstring issue and would not have been healthy for the Buckeyes’ New Year’s Eve CFP semi-final playoff date with top-ranked Georgia. For his part, Richardson simply opted not to play in the Gators’ bowl to prepare for the draft where he will clearly be a player to watch as he has as much physical talent as any QB in this year’s draft including size, athleticism and arm strength. However, his numbers were inconsistent this fall as he completed less than 55% of his pass attempts and had 9 picks on the campaign. While those aren’t necessarily the numbers of a top ten pick, there is a growing buzz around the league that teams still really like Richardson’s potential. In fact, given the questions associated with the other top-rated QBs for the upcoming draft, we’ve heard more than a couple of whispers that when all is said and done, no one should be totally shocked if Richardson ends up being the first QB chosen next April.
Meanwhile, NC State QB Devin Leary, yet another of this year’s strong second-tier QB grouping, has announced he’s staying in college, but will transfer. Same for Pitt’s Kedon Slovis, who will be transferring one more time after coming from USC. Taking Slovis’ place at Pitt will be former Boston College QB Phil Jurkovec who announced himself earlier this week that he would be transferring.