Nick Saban Appears To Throw Subtle Jab At Anthony Richardson Ahead Of NFL Draft

Nick Saban walks off the field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

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Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson continues to skyrocket up NFL draft boards with his impressive showing at the combine. The projected first-round pick is now in contention to be the top passer selected this April.

One of the signal callers battling for that honor is Alabama’s Bryce Young. This week, his head coach Nick Saban threw a subtle jab Richardson’s way in his promotion of his Heisman trophy winner.

Young is considered to be one of, if not, the top quarterback in the upcoming draft. His college resume, which includes that Heisman and a national championship appearance, speaks for itself. The gunslinger threw for 8,200 yards over his final two seasons, and he has the ability to get it done with his legs, too.

Anthony Richardson, meanwhile, entered the combine with uncertainty. There were question marks surrounding his accuracy and ability to lead. Those concerns were tied directly to his college play as he completed less than 55% of his passes while posting a losing record as a starter at Florida.

At the combine, though, the Gators star has wowed NFL scouts with his ridiculous size and athleticism. At 6′ 4″ and 245 pounds, he ran a 4.43 40-yard dash according to the website. He also posted a 40.5″ vertical jump and a 10′ 9″ broad jump. That’s easily qualified him as the draft’s most athletic passer, though that’s not always an indicator of NFL success.

Additionally, Richardson ranks as only the 11th-most productive quarterback in the draft, which Nick Saban appeared to point out in a recent interview.

When talking with Stephen A. Smith on the Know Mercy podcast, the Alabama head coach said the following.

“We’ve all seen the 6-4, 225-pound guy that can throw it like a bazooka, but he can’t make the choices and decisions, he can’t distribute the ball, he can’t throw it accurately. So, who’s the better bet? I’m going on history, production, performance and Bryce Young’s done it about as well as anybody.”

While Saban doesn’t call Richardson out by name, he’s really the only passer to fit that mold in this year’s draft class. Many fans agreed with his comments. Take a look at the reaction on social media.

One person asked, “Did he lie, though?” Someone else answered by saying, “He’s absolutely right.”

Young definitely provides proven on-field production while Richardson has the athletic upside. We’ll see which one NFL teams prefer come draft time.