Carolina Panthers 4-round 2023 NFL mock draft: Bye week edition

(Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports) Dalton Kincaid
(Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports) Dalton Kincaid /
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Carolina Panthers
(Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports) C.J. Stroud /

Carolina Panthers select C.J. Stroud

  • Quarterback | Ohio State

It’s been four years since the Carolina Panthers had consistent and competent play from the quarterback position. Since the release of former franchise icon Cam Newton, fans have seen Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, P.J. Walker, and even the returning former NFL MVP start at the most important position in football over the last few seasons.

Entering this offseason, Carolina will once again have a big need at quarterback. While some fans are pushing the idea of waiting until next year for Caleb Williams and Drake Maye, it is highly unlikely that the front office and new coaching staff will wait another season given the sole focus will be on prospects for the upcoming draft.

The Panthers currently possess the No. 5 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft following their victory over the Denver Broncos, dropping them three spots from No. 2 overall. While there is a chance he may not make it past the Detroit Lions, C.J. Stroud lands in Carolina’s lap in this scenario.

Stroud is no doubt one of the best quarterback prospects coming out in 2023. He offers a great combination of accuracy, arm talent, poise, and pocket awareness. The Ohio State star’s best trait is arguably his football acumen and eyes, with a great understanding of pre/post-snap looks and being able to maneuver defensive backs and work through progressions.

There is some concern with Stroud as it pertains to his next-level transition. The signal-caller plays in an offense where he has great protection and playmakers that make his life easier. However, he has shown to make the tough throws in tight windows when need be.

Stroud is a great prospect that should not be overlooked and if the player ends up in Carolina, he will land on an offense that features a great offensive line and a star wide receiver in D.J. Moore.