Panthers 7-round 2023 mock draft: What would Carolina do from No. 7?

(Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images) Felix Anudike-Uzomah
(Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images) Felix Anudike-Uzomah /
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Carolina Panthers
(Adam Cairns/The Columbus Dispatch via IMAGN Content Services) C.J. Stroud /

Carolina Panthers select C.J. Stroud

  • Quarterback | Ohio State

If the Carolina Panthers were selecting this high in the draft for a third-straight year, then it’s unlikely Baker Mayfield has made enough of an impression to get a longer-term commitment from the franchise. Not only this, but it might end up with a new coaching staff coming on board depending on the record Matt Rhule accumulates in 2022.

There are a lot of ifs and buts right now. But a new regime might want the chance to pick their quarterback despite the Panthers trading up to acquire Matt Corral at No. 94 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Corral’s broken foot in the preseason means he might not even get the opportunity to start in Carolina. That sounds harsh, but the NFL is a ruthless business and if someone like C.J. Stroud was available, then the Panthers would have a hard time looking the other way in this scenario.

Stroud is arguably the most polished signal-caller entering the pros next spring. His final season at Ohio State has begun smoothly, with the player completing 70.5 percent of his passes for 1,222 yards, 16 touchdowns, just one interception, and a phenomenal passer efficiency rating of 207.5.

One thing Stroud has improved immensely this season is pocket presence. There is a calmness to the prospect that’s hard not to love, so if things continue in the same manner throughout the campaign, he’ll likely be the first quarterback taken ahead of Bryce Young, Will Levis, and Anthony Richardson.