Could the Carolina Panthers make a surprise pick with the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft?

Most are projecting former Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young to be the Panthers selection with the top pick, yet former Kentucky Wildcats signal-caller Will Levis seems to be their potential pick as well, leaving many to wonder if Young's size is going to undermine his natural ability.

With that in mind, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reporting that the Panthers were ‘very intrigued' by former Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson throughout their pre-draft evaluation process is particularly interesting.

Let's start with the measurables.

Young is undersized at 6-foot-0 and 194 pounds. Yet, Richardson has prototypical size at 6-foot-4 and 236 pounds.

To that point, Levis is 6-foot-3 and 222 pounds. So, while he and Richardson's career numbers — as well as accolades — pale in comparison to Young, their durability is far less likely to be questioned.

Furthermore, in the case of Richardson in particular, he also has a dual-threat tag that Young doesn't.

Though Young has skittled himself in the end zone for seven career rushing touchdowns, he had 162 total yards on a 1.2 yard per carry average. Those aren't the numbers of a player that likes to get outside of the pocket much.

For comparison, Richardson has 1,116 career rushing yards on 161 carries for a 6.9 yard per carry average. He had 12 touchdowns in 22 career games.

So, for a team whose most recent success was in the Cam Newton Era, one could see how Richardson is an intriguing option.

Newton, a dual-threat quarterback at 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds, suited up for the Gators for two seasons himself. Like Richardson, he also left for the NFL with less than two dozen total games played after three collegiate seasons.