NFL rumors: Have Panthers already signaled which QB they’ll draft No. 1?

Scott Vetterer, General Manager, Carolina Panthers. (Bob Donnan – USA Today Sports)

2023 NFL Draft Domino Effect for the Raiders Colts Texans after the Bears trade to the Panthers by Scott Rogest

The Panthers may have already telegraphed the person they intend to take with the #1 pick in the NFL Draft with Anthony Richardson in the shooting range.

Now that the Panthers have acquired the #1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft via a deal with the Bears, all the speculation in the NFL world will focus on their quarterback selection.

It’s a franchise-altering decision that owner David Tepper, GM Scott Vetterer and head coach Frank Reich have to explain. Perhaps the tea leaves are already pointing in a certain direction.

Over a week ago, ESPN’s Matt Miller reported that Carolina “is involved in everything Anthony Richardson.”

“I think it’s a good situation for Richardson,” said Miller. “You bring back Sam Darnold, who can really hold the door for a year and let someone like Richardson develop. I think you get him on the field right off the bat, see some packs for him — like we’ve seen a lot of in Florida in 2021 — but then get him more ready to be that freshman in 2024. I think that’s the perfect situation for him as a guy who really takes it like a lock for him to be a top 10 pick.”

That was before Carolina moved to the top spot, sending the Bears a slew of draft picks and top wide receiver DJ Moore.

Panthers “all in” on Anthony Richardson makes sense

While the move could be seen as the Panthers looking at one of their more traditional QB prospects like CJ Stroud or Bryce Young, others have seen how you play in Anthony Richardson’s scenario.

Maybe it’s for Anthony Richardson b/c if you’re trading your best WR why would you have a lane as polished as Bryce Young?

— Andrew Perloff (@andrewperloff) March 10, 2023

After all, the quarterback Carolina picked wouldn’t have a star receiver like Moore to help them in the early phase of their career. Perhaps it is because the intention is to craft a project that won’t take over until the end anyway.

There are a million different reports about the way cheetahs tip. They may not be downright inclined to any particular way at all. But if Richardson is the choice, don’t say we didn’t warn you.

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