The Carolina Panthers made a major move for the future on Friday, dealing multiple first-round picks and wide receiver DJ Moore to the Chicago Bears for the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft. Now officially on the clock for the April draft, the question now turns to who the NFC South franchise will select with the top pick.
The Panthers taking a quarterback No. 1 overall seems like a no-brainer here. A team wouldn’t give up premium draft assets and its top wideout to not take a franchise QB with the top pick. Cycling through stopgap options like Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Darnold, and Baker Mayfield for the past three seasons, it makes sense that Carolina would put its foot down and use this opportunity to draft its QB of the future.
As of right now, that QB looks like it will be Alabama’s Bryce Young. The 2021 Heisman Trophy winner impressed scouts and general managers at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, IN, this past week and seems destined to be the first signal-caller taken off the board in this class. There are concerns over his height, but we’ve seen teams get creative and work around that with different QB’s. Ohio State’s CJ Stroud could also be another option the Panthers turn to as he also impressed scouts at the combine. He excelled in two seasons as a starter with the Buckeyes, throwing for over 8,000 yards and 85 touchdowns in the two years combined.
There’s also growing intrigue surrounding a pair of first-round prospects in Florida’s Anthony Richardson and Kentucky’s Will Levis. There has been skepticism about both being worthy of the top selection considering some of their deficiencies in college, but both possess the size and tools that NFL GM’s feel that can be harnessed.