Falcons land “Cam Jackson” in latest USA Today mock draft

The Falcons are reportedly looking hard for quarterbacks in this draft class. Bryce Young, CJ Stroud, Anthony Richardson and Will Levis all have alluring qualities. Atlanta is just finalizing its due diligence, but if they fall in love with any of the prospects, they should definitely pull the trigger, and that’s what Nate Davis from USA Today has the team land in its latest mock draft “Cam Jackson” – ie Anthony Richardson.

Analysis: The self-proclaimed “Cam Jackson” actually blew up the combine as a sort of Cam Newton-Lamar Jackson hybrid. At 6-4, 244 pounds, Richardson fired a 4.43 40 and hit combined quarterback records with a 40½-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot, 9-inch long jump. Though he lacks experience (13 starts for the Gators), Richardson’s physical tools – including a one-arm bazooka, which was also put on full display Saturday – will very likely land him in the top half of the first round… top at least . And even though QB Desmond Ridder is ending his rookie season, Atlanta — owner Arthur Blank had his team in the running for Deshaun Watson last year — will have an excellent opportunity to reinvest in the position. Richardson could clearly benefit from a season (or more) to marinate under HC Arthur Smith and work on his accuracy while evaluation of the less physically gifted Ridder continues. But Smith’s penchant for getting the best out of his players and the prospect of Richardson eventually going on offense with several promising youngsters could make him difficult to avoid – and perhaps shake up a city nearly two decades away from the Michael Vick Experience is.

The Cam Jackson moniker isn’t too far off. He set the NFL Combine on fire last weekend. He ran a 4.43-40-yard dash, which was the fourth-fastest by a quarterback since 2000, but he pulled it off with a 6-foot-4,244.

For reference, the other three that ran faster: “Robert Griffin III (6-ft-2, 223 pounds; 4.33 40-yard dash), Reggie McNeal (6-ft-2, 198 pounds; 4.40 40-yard dash) and Michael Vick (6- foot, 210 pounds; 4.33 40-meter dash).”

Yes, Anthony Richardson is a combination of Cam Newton and Lamar Jackson. The Auburn product checked in at 6-foot-5, 248 pounds and ran a 4.56 40-yard dash. Jackson did not compete in the NFL Combine but would have tested exceptionally well.

“Growing up, it was always Cam Newton for me,” Richardson said. “But once I got into high school, I just saw how energetic Lamar was. I have tried to implement these two types in my life. I started calling myself Cam Jackson in 11th grade because I was just trying to do big plays. Just Cam Newton and Lamar Jackson.”

Richardson is one of the craziest physical specimens we’ve ever seen drafted. He’s about as explosive with his arms and legs as any quarterback. Richardson had one of the most spectacular runs I’ve ever seen against LSU. Additionally, nine of his 40 passing touchdowns went for more than 40 yards, including four from 70 yards or more.

There are facets of Richardson’s game that need refinement, but his potential is off the charts. If he can develop in the right situation, he has legitimate MVP skills. Because he fought in Florida, Falcons fans, mostly Georgia Bulldogs fans, will bust him due to his fights in Jacksonville, but those Gators were awful; No one could have been successful at Gainesville. I’m excited to see what he can do in the league and if it’s with the Falcons sign me.

Photo: Chris Leduc/Icon Sportswire




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