ESPN NFL Draft analyst Matt Miller says he gets the sense that the Carolina Panthers are “all in” on one quarterback prospect.
The Carolina Panthers are in a position in which they can select one of the top four quarterback prospects in the upcoming NFL Draft. Realistically, however, they could select the last of the top four, as they hold the ninth-overall pick. The Panthers have Frank Reich as head coach, who does specialize in developing and getting the most out of his quarterback. But does he have a preference as to which prospect he wants to wear a Panthers uniform?
During an appearance on ESPN’s NFL Live, NFL Draft analyst Matt Miller said he gets the sense that the Panthers are “all in” on Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson.
"“You definitely get the sense that they’re all in on Anthony Richardson. I know it’s gonna make Dan [Orlovsky] very happy,” said Miller, h/t PanthersWire. “The athleticism is there, the arm strength is there. And you hear—this offensive staff, led by Frank Reich, they believe that they can develop a quarterback with guys like Jim Caldwell, Thomas Brown they bring in from the L.A. Rams, there’s gonna be a lot of vertical things he can do down the field.I think this is a good situation for Richardson. A top-10 pick, which we’re all expecting. They can bring back Sam Darnold, who can really hold the door for a year, then let someone like Richardson develop.”"
ESPN NFL Draft analyst gets sense Panthers are ‘all in’ on Anthony Richardson
The 2023 quarterback draft class is headlined by Alabama’s Bryce Young and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud. There is also Kentucky’s Will Levis, who has the prototypical size and arm that scouts tend to gravitate towards. As for Richardson, while he does need some development, he may have the highest ceiling among them all.
Richardson just got off of his first season as Florida’s starting quarterback. There were some struggles throughout the year in terms of decision-making, but Richardson showed flashes of his playmaking ability. From his arm strength to target his receiver deep downfield, to using his legs to extend plays or make a huge run. If he can put it all together, he could very well be an electric dual-threat quarterback. NFL.com has Richardson’s player comparison as none other than former Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
In 12 games this past season, Richardson threw for 2,549 yards, 17 touchdowns, and nine interceptions on a 53.8-completion percentage, while running for 654 yards and nine touchdowns on 103 carries.
Richardson is at the NFL Scouting Combine this week, and will be participating in drills on Saturday, March 4 at 1:00 p.m. ET. If Richardson does have a huge day, he could very well skyrocket up draft boards, which would mean interested teams would have to trade up to get him.