Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson was the star of the NFL Combine on Saturday, and his amazing performance didn’t escape the eyes of the Carolina Panthers. According to NFL Network’s Cameron Wolfe, the Panthers are heavily interested in Richardson and are likely to trade up if they fall in love with a prospect.
Carolina Panthers “Loved” Anthony Richardson, Will Likely Trade Up
A Prospect the Panthers Love
Hopping on the airwaves, Wolfe first spoke about Carolina’s current pursuit of quarterback Derek Carr. While the media personality acknowledged that the team will speak with Carr Monday, Wolfe also said that Carolina’s “preference is to find their franchise quarterback long-term via the draft.”
After watching the organization pass on spending early draft capital on a signal caller ever since the end of the Cam Newton Era, this report should be music to Panthers fans ears. This also aligns with an earlier report that essentially eliminated Carolina from the Derek Carr sweepstakes.
Wolfe wasn’t done there, as he also noted that the Panthers don’t plan on being idle in the search for a franchise quarterback.
“As we look at teams here that are looking to trade up, Carolina should be high on that list. I’ve been told they are going to be aggressive if they fall in love with their guy, and one guy to keep an eye on is Anthony Richardson…Carolina’s meeting apparently went great, they loved his work on the board.”
Obviously, we are a long ways away from hearing about an official trade up, but this certainly implies the Panthers are actively trying to move up and make Anthony Richardson their next quarterback. Perhaps it was just coincidental wording on Wolfe’s part, but it’s highly suspicious for him to say the Panthers would only trade up for a player they loved, and then say that the Panthers loved Richardson’s board work in the very next sentence.
Anthony Richardson the Prospect
In case you happened to miss the NFL Combine, all you need to know is that Anthony Richardson is an absolute freak of nature. The 6′-4″, 244-pound quarterback spent the entire pre-draft process receiving athletic comps to Cam Newton and Josh Allen, but that might have honestly been doing him a disservice. The quarterback was easily the most athletic player at his position during the Combine, and he even set a few records along the way.
Anthony Richardson had himself a DAY at the NFL Combine.
Richardson leaped 10’09” in the broad jump, which is a QB record at the combine.
Richardson jumped 40.5” in the vertical jump, which is a QB record at the combine.
Richardson threw a ball at a velocity of 60 MPH, which… pic.twitter.com/cD102A4bdy
— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) March 4, 2023
Of course, athleticism is great, but being a good athlete does not make you a good quarterback. Richardson’s accuracy issues from his college film still exist, but his work during the throwing drills serve as a reminder for how good he could be if everything pans out. Yes, it’s easier to throw when there are no defenders around, but the quarterback consistently hit deep throws that most human beings just aren’t capable of, even at the professional level.
Anthony Richardson with EASE 🎯
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) March 4, 2023
It’s clear that Richardson has all the physical tools required to become an elite quarterback, and if teams are confident with his mental processing, then he should be an easy top-five pick. The Florida product will probably need a season on the bench to iron out his footwork, but the Panthers could easily re-sign Sam Darnold as a bridge quarterback until Richardson is ready to take the league by storm.
Main Photo: Kirby Lee – USA Today Sports