The Carolina Panthers hold the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. The organization recently traded for the first selection, giving the Bears four draft picks and wide receiver DJ Moore.
In exchange, Carolina will be first on the clock this April as they look to improve their roster with talented prospects. Most believe the team will go with a quarterback after struggling under center for much of last season.
In 2022, the Panthers saw a revolving door of passers, none of which provided much production for the offense. New addition Baker Mayfield was expected to become the full-time starter. Instead, he was released midseason.
Signal callers Sam Darnold and PJ Walker also saw starting action, but neither was consistent enough to keep the role.
That lack of success has many pegging the Panthers to take a passer with the top overall choice, which is a valid argument considering Carolina traded out of the nine spot.
A trio of college prospects have been named as possible targets in Anthony Richardson, Bryce Young, and CJ Stroud. Cases have been made for each regarding their fit, and it’s been reported that the front office has been wowed by each.
Media ran with a rumor that the team is “enamored” with Anthony Richardson, though many believe his first-round status to be much too high. Others believe it’s a coin flip between Young and Stroud, the two top passing prospects in the class.
Carolina Panthers assistant coach Josh McCown might’ve just given us our answer.
In a recent meeting with CJ Stroud, the coach was heard hinting that the Ohio State product would soon land in Charlotte.
Did #Panthers coach Josh McCown tell CJ Stroud: “Maybe when you live in Charlotte we’ll find a court.” ?
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) March 22, 2023
Fans think McCown just spilled the beans. Take a look at the immediate reaction to the clip on social media.
CJ Stroud #1 pick of the 2023 NFL DRAFT !
— Pav Singh 🍥MAXX 🦅CROSBY IS THE DEFENSE (@thatguypav) March 22, 2023
CJ Stroud, YOU are a Carolina Panther
— Jireh | k1 Apologist (@jirashon) March 22, 2023
Hard to debate that it’s not what was said.
after rewatching this 10 times i think thats actually definitely what he said
— “caleb davis” (@UNCCBK) March 22, 2023
Many think that the pick is now imminent.
Oh it’s a done deal lmao
— 𝐏𝐨𝐩𝐬 (@Popsx313) March 22, 2023
Should Stroud land in Carolina, he’ll join a Panthers roster that was able to win seven games last year even with the struggles under center. With solid quarterback play, the team might not be too far off from making a playoff run.
We’ll soon see if Stroud really is Carolina’s guy.