The Carolina Panthers acquired the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, and have their choice of quarterbacks to select. Let’s rank their options.
The 2023 NFL year officially begins on March 15, which means that there will be plenty of changes across all 32 teams in the league. That is because free agency officially begins that day, with the negotiation window opening up on March 13. But just days prior, the Carolina Panthers sent shockwaves throughout the league.
On Friday, the Panthers successfully acquired the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft from the Chicago Bears. All it cost them was their No. 9 and 61 picks in this year’s draft, a first-rounder in 2024, a second-rounder in 2025, and wide receiver DJ Moore.
This move signaled that the Panthers are going to take a quarterback early in the first round. That wasn’t much of a surprise, considering the need they had at the position.
Now, they have their choice of the top four prospects in this year’s class — Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, Kentucky’s Will Levis, and Florida’s Anthony Richardson.
Given the importance of their selection, we are going to rank all four options.
Ranking the QB’s the Panthers can select with the No. 1 pick
4. Will Levis, Kentucky
In 2021, Will Levis shined at Kentucky after transferring from Penn State. Entering the 2022 season, Levis had the chance to solidify his case as a top quarterback prospect. The thing is, he didn’t do that.
Yes, he had a changeover at the offensive coordinator position and suffered multiple injuries during the 2022 campaign. But he had just 19 touchdowns with 10 interceptions.
Despite what happened in 2022, Levis has the prototypical height and a strong arm that NFL teams love. But, Levis may need to sit a year to really ensure he’s ready to go.
Levis will be a Top 10 pick in this year’s NFL Draft. But No. 1? Probably not, considering the talent of the other three quarterbacks.
3. Anthony Richardson, Florida
Anthony Richardson was Florida’s starting quarterback for just one season, then he declared for the NFL Draft. When watching Richardson play, he showed flashes of being an incredible, dual-threat quarterback. He has the arm to make deep passes and the speed to be near-impossible to stop on the run.
The thing is, his decision-making was an area of concern and he never really put it all together.
At the NFL Scouting Combine, Richardson showed off his athleticism with record-breaking vertical and broad jumps, and a 4.44-second 40-yard dash time.
Richardson will need a year or so of development before he’s ready to start in NFL games. But, as fans and teams saw during his NFL Scouting Combine performance, he could become one of the top quarterbacks in the game if he can put it all together.