The Carolina Panthers have made a bold move ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft, trading up to the number one overall pick. The team has reportedly paid a high price for the top spot, sending star wide receiver DJ Moore, their ninth overall pick, the 61st overall pick, a first-round pick in 2024, and a second-round pick in 2025 to the Chicago Bears.
With the move, the Panthers are believed to be selecting Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud, according to league insiders cited by The Athletic’s Joseph Person.
Stroud is said to be among the top quarterback prospects in the draft, with scouts noting that he has the size, accuracy, and playmaking ability to become a star in the NFL.
At the NFL Combine last week, Stroud wowed scouts with his precision passing and ability to escape the pocket when needed. He also impressed in Ohio State’s College Football Playoff semifinal matchup against Georgia, showing his ability to make plays in high-pressure situations.
The Panthers’ decision to trade up and possibly take Stroud could be a game-changer for the franchise, as they have struggled to find a franchise quarterback in recent years. The move also signals a new era for the team, as they look to build a competitive roster around their young signal-caller.
Meanwhile, the Bears will receive a haul of picks in exchange for the top selection, allowing them to add talent to their roster in the coming years. It remains to be seen who they will select with the ninth overall pick, but the trade could set them up for long-term success.