6 potential first-round targets if the Panthers make 2022 playoffs

(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) Bijan Robinson
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) Bijan Robinson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports) Anthony Richardson /

Carolina Panthers could draft Anthony Richardson

  • Quarterback | Florida

If the Carolina Panthers keep up their outstanding run of recent results, then they have a shot at dethroning the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are inconsistent and coming off a thumping loss against the Brock Purdy-led San Francisco 49ers in Week 14.

Even though this would put the Panthers out of the Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud sweepstakes, there is one signal-caller that might be a wildcard worth taking depending on what occurs during the all-important evaluation process.

Anthony Richardson is going to be the most debated player for good or bad. The Florida product’s athletic traits are absolutely off the charts, but he is incredibly raw and it might be some time before the prospect is ready to assume command of an NFL team.

Richardson is the ultimate development project. If the player does put it all together, then he’ll take the league by storm, but just how long that’ll take is the million-dollar question.

The Panthers need help right now. However, they do have Matt Corral under contract and if Sam Darnold continues his efficient production, then offering the former USC star a short-term deal to become the bridge for someone like Richardson cannot be ruled out.

This is a polarizing prospect, to put it mildly. Something that is reflected in his sketchy draft projections that have Richardson going anywhere from the top 10 to falling out of the top 50 depending on which mock draft you read.