Panthers 7-round 2023 NFL mock draft: Building around franchise QB

Kayshon Boutte
Kayshon Boutte / Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers
C.J. Stroud / John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers draft C.J. Stroud

  • Quarterback | Ohio State | No. 1 overall

As stated previously, the Carolina Panthers are keeping all options open in pursuit of not showing their hand too early. However, it would be a huge shock if they didn't pick one of the consensus top two prospects when push came to shove.

Those are obviously Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud. Both quarterbacks come into the league with Day 1 starting potential and high ceilings, but the must Panthers conclude which one is capable of getting the organization out of irrelevancy and into the national spotlight. 

Young is a magician whose processing is already NFL-ready. There is some durability concern because of his slender build, but that shouldn't put the Panthers off from making him their guy. 

However, the slight preference is for Stroud. This looks like the sort of quarterback head coach Frank Reich normally goes for and seems like a tremendous scheme fit for good measure. 

Stroud is accurate, sees the field well, and boasts incredible pocket awareness. The former Ohio State star thrives on the big occasion and has the ability to pick a team up on his back when needed most. 

In truth, the Panthers couldn't go wrong with either Stroud or Young. Whichever way they choose will be franchise-altering, but everything is in place for their rookie signal-caller to succeed right out of the gate.