Tracking 2023’s latest 1st-round projections for the Panthers

CBS Sports lead NFL insider Jonathan Jones, in a recent bit of reporting, implored mock drafters to pencil in a quarterback to the Carolina Panthers for 2023’s first round. So, that’s what they did.

Here are the latest set of projections for the Panthers.

Draft Wire: QB Will Levis (Kentucky)

AP Photo/John Raoux

If the Lions don’t value the remaining quarterback prospects as potential successors to Jared Goff, don’t be surprised if they’re willing to move down here. The Panthers might be willing to jump ahead of the Raiders (giving up one of their two second-rounders) for the quarterback of their choice, and though he’s still got plenty of question marks, it won’t be surprising if Levis ends up being that next one off the board.

Luke Easterling

Touchdown Wire: QB Anthony Richardson (Florida)

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Where you stand on Richardson probably has a lot to do with how raw you think he is as a prospect, versus how much stock you put in the growth he clearly showed in most areas in the second half of his first season as an NCAA starter. The Panthers could slide along for a year as Richardson develops, or they could set things up for him to have a Justin Fields-style impact early on. Either way, the upside is something this franchise hasn’t seen since it took Cam Newton first overall in the 2011 draft.

Doug Farrar QB Will Levis (Kentucky)

Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

If the Panthers move on from pending free agent Sam Darnold, the team could take a flier on a boom-or-bust prospect with intriguing tools.

Bucky Brooks

ESPN: QB Anthony Richardson (Florida)

Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s get this out of the way now: I wouldn’t play Richardson in Year 1. He needs time to develop. He’s not an NFL-ready thrower. But he is an awesome talent, a raw quarterback in a 6-foot-4 frame who would be one of the league’s most electrifying runners as soon as he steps on the field. His size and physical tools cannot be taught, and NFL coaches will want to work with him and try to take him to the next level. Richardson completed just 53.8% of his passes in 2022 — he has a long ways to go with his mechanics. Again, though, he has a high ceiling if a coaching staff can help him get there.

Mel Kiper

Pro Football Focus: QB Anthony Richardson (Florida)

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Panthers have taken too many chances on low-upside starters over the past few years, including Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield. It’s time for them to fill the position with some serious upside, with a player who can change the franchise’s outlook. Anthony Richardson is the most talented quarterback in this class, but he needs a lot of work. If the Panthers can be patient with Richardson and give him time, he could be their next Cam Newton.

Marcus Mosher 

CBS Sports: QB Anthony Richardson (Florida)

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Richardson is one of the most exciting prospects in this class. The problem: he’s short on experience, and while his physical tools are rare, the Panthers are in dire need of a starting QB right now. David Tepper could choose to go the free agency route (again), but that has been, shall we say, a crapshoot. At the end of the day, Carolina may have to move inside the top 5 if they’re a quarterback they really want with Day 1 starter potential.

Ryan Wilson

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Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire