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Panthers GM impressed with Richardson: 'He's more than a project'

James Gilbert / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Carolina Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer was impressed with Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson's performance at his pro day on Thursday.

"He's more than a project," Fitterer said. "He's a really good player."

"Obviously, he's got a ton of talent, a lot of upside," Fitterer added. "The more you play, the better it's going to be, as far as processing and timing. But he's got everything to work with."

The Panthers own the first overall pick in the draft after trading up with the Chicago Bears. They're expected to target a franchise quarterback. Richardson, Alabama's Bryce Young, Ohio State's C.J. Stroud, and Kentucky's Will Levis are among the QBs expected to be first-round picks.

Richardson impressed at the NFL combine in early March, running a 4.43-second 40-yard dash, the fourth-best time among quarterbacks since 2003. He threw for 2,549 yards and ran for 654 yards in 12 games last season.

Although Richardson never completed over 60% of his passes in three years at Florida, Fitterer praised his throwing ability.

"Tremendous arm strength," Fitterer said. "(He) made every throw, showed touch, showed timing, showed everything we needed to see."

Richardson hit the ceiling with one of his throws.

Fitterer's comments echo what Panthers head coach Frank Reich said about Richardson at the annual owners meetings Tuesday.

"He's an exciting player," Reich said, according to David Newton of ESPN. "Even before the combine, watching his tape, there are plays and throws all over the tape that scream top-of-the-draft pick."

The NFL draft begins on April 27.

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