Panthers News: Mel Kiper's mock, C.J. Stroud, Austin Corbett and John Penisini

C.J. Stroud
C.J. Stroud / Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA
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Carolina Panthers
C.J. Stroud / Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA

Carolina Panthers cause for pause on C.J. Stroud?

After being the runaway leader to become the No. 1 overall pick for weeks, the tide is turning where C.J. Stroud is concerned. Most sportsbooks now have Bryce Young as the new favorite, which is a complete shift in momentum at an important stage of the pre-draft process. 

While it would be foolish to write off Stroud entirely, Trey Wingo stated via The 33rd Team that there is something in this particular equation that's giving the Panthers "cause to pause" where the Ohio State product is concerned. Something that's led them back to Young as their preferred option. 

In the same video, Ari Meirov speculated that the Panthers may have found out something a little outside the box surrounding Stroud. Considering what Carolina gave up for the privilege atop the draft, every little piece of information is crucial. 

"Have they made a decision? I don't think they have yet, but they've got an ownership group that is heavily involved in the decision-making process. Everyone is involved and they are trying to figure out the best person and the best quarterback for the Carolina Panthers because they're sick and tired of going down the veteran route. They want to figure out the right guy for 10-plus years, so this might include something outside football that is giving them concern."

Ari Meirov, The 33rd Team

There's been nothing concrete either way. This is also peak time for smoke and mirrors season, which is something else to consider regarding Stroud becoming so quickly out of favor. 

A little over two weeks until we find out for sure.