It will be just a couple of days before we all find out who the Carolina Panthers plan to select with the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Carolina moved up from the ninth spot to No. 1 overall with the Chicago Bears earlier this offseason with quarterback being the target.
As of right now, it seems to be a foregone conclusion that former Alabama star Bryce Young will head to Carolina with the first pick to be its franchise quarterback.
New Panthers head coach Frank Reich gave his pre-draft press conference on Tuesday, two days before they find themselves on the clock from Kansas City.
While Reich didn’t say that the selection would be Young, he did tell reporters that there is a “consensus” within the Panthers’ organization on the No. 1 pick. “We’ll announce that Thursday at about 8 o’clock,” Reich told reporters.
Reich went on to detail the pre-draft process after Carolina pulled off that aforementioned blockbuster with Chicago.
“There were ebbs and flows during the process. I don’t want to say there’s any drastic change of mind, but there’s ebbs and flows of how much you like a guy,” Reich said. “And that’s why you have to resist the temptation of making your mind up too early, right? So, I thought we as a scouting staff and coaches did a good job of not falling into that trap.”
Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud was considered one of the top options for Carolina when it moved up to the first pick. Since then, Stroud’s stock has fallen some due to numerous leaks that seemingly paint him in a bad light. Whether that’s a media-driven narrative or something else remains to be seen.
What we do know is that Young will be Carolina’s selection when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reads the pick to open this week’s NFL Draft.
Carolina Panthers settled at one, rest of NFL Draft is up in the air
The real intrigue is not going to be who Carolina selects at one. Rather, it’s all about the remainder of the top five.
Given Stroud’s likely fall down the draft board, the Houston Texans are looking edge with the second pick. That will either be Texas Tech’s Tyree Wilson or Will Anderson from Alabama.
At No. 3 overall, the Arizona Cardinals continue to listen to trade offers. That might be a tad complicated due to Stroud’s current status. Though, former Kentucky quarterback Will Levis is now drawing some potential interesting within the top five himself.
Selecting fourth overall, it seems as if the Indianapolis Colts might be able to land a quarterback of the future based on what we’re hearing leading up to the draft. Whether that’s Stroud, Levis or Florida’s Anthony Richardson remains to be seen.
Despite everything going through the NFL rumor mill right now, the Carolina Panthers are set at one. Frank Reich and Co. will then turn their attention to the remainder of the draft with six other picks, including the 39th overall selection on Day 2.