Anthony Richardson Called Himself 'Cam Jackson' for Playing Like Cam Newton, Lamar

Adam WellsMarch 3, 2023

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 25: Anthony Richardson #15 of the Florida Gators warms up before the start of a game against the Florida State Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium on November 25, 2022 in Tallahassee, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images

If Anthony Richardson is trying to sell himself to teams during the NFL Scouting Combine, saying his game is a combination of two recent MVP winners is a good start.

Speaking to reporters in Indianapolis on Friday, the Florida quarterback said he's been calling himself "Cam Jackson" since 11th grade.

"Just trying to make big plays, just like Cam Newton and Lamar Jackson," he explained.

There certainly seem to be elements of Richardson's game that line up with what Newton and Jackson have done in the NFL.

B/R's Derrik Klassen wrote in his scouting report that Richardson is "a home-run swing on elite tools and fearless pocket management" with "top-five speed, explosiveness, and contact balance for the position."

The biggest concerns for Richardson revolve around his ability as a passer. He completed 53.8 percent of his passes for the Gators in 2022, his only season as their starting quarterback.

"Richardson's best throws are mesmerizing, but there are too many random misfires littered in between. Richardson is prone to three or so terrible misfires per game, often in the 1-10 yard area--throws that are supposed to keep the offense on schedule. He also struggles a bit more with moving targets than he does stationary ones, too often limiting YAC," Klassen wrote.

Both Newton and Jackson faced scrutiny leading up to the draft about their ability to throw the football.

NFL.com noted prior to the 2011 draft that Newton had "sloppy" footwork, "inconsistent" accuracy and didn't have to go through progressions in college at Auburn.

ESPN.com called Jackson a "very difficult evaluation" because he was so explosive with the ball in his hands at Louisville, but "he needs a lot of refinement as a passer—specifically when it comes to his inconsistencies with progression reads, anticipation and ball placement."

Newton and Jackson have never been the most accurate passers. Newton only completed more than 60 percent of his attempts three times in 11 seasons. Jackson has a 63.7 career completion percentage in five seasons with the Baltimore Ravens.

They have been accurate enough and were more than capable of making big plays through the air to keep defenses honest. They rank in the top five in rushing yards by quarterbacks in NFL history.

If Richardson's NFL career ends up being anything like what Newton or Jackson have done, he will probably be the best player regardless of position in the 2023 draft.