Panthers News: Bryce Young shock, C.J. Stroud, Cam Newton and OL praise

Cam Newton
Cam Newton / Jake Crandall / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Carolina Panthers
C.J. Stroud / Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA

CBS Sports lays out Carolina Panthers smokescreen

Even though the Carolina Panthers are reportedly locked in on Bryce Young, nothing has been officially rubber-stamped. This leaves room for speculation, rumors, and suspense to continue before the big night arrives. 

One prospect getting more bizarre criticism than most in recent days is C.J. Stroud. He looks to be this year's victim when it comes to the media, which isn't surprising considering how other Ohio State quarterbacks such as Justin Fields and Dwayne Haskins were treated during their respective evaluations. 

This was a notion brought up by Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports, who highlighted his suspicion surrounding the whole process by keeping Stroud as Carolina's pick at No. 1 overall in his latest mock draft.

"I still think C.J. Stroud will be the pick at No. 1. I don't care what sportsbooks say or who assistant coaches follow on Instagram. It feels too suspicious that after all this time when Stroud was the pick, the Panthers have suddenly done a 180 and have chosen Bryce Young. It doesn't matter to me that Young has canceled visits with other teams. He knows if the Panthers don't take him, the Texans will."

Tom Fornelli, CBS Sports

While Stroud is a tremendous prospect and more than worthy of the pick, it would be a surprise. Especially considering how overwhelming the odds now are in Young's favor among sportsbooks. 

Where Stroud ends up if he doesn't go to the Panthers is anyone's guess. But he'll be coming to the NFL with a significant chip on his shoulder that's for sure.