After a huge trade to land the number one overall pick, the Carolina Panthers have a big decision to make atop this 2023 NFL Mock Draft.
In case you missed it, which is highly doubtful if you pay any attention to the NFL, the Carolina Panthers made a trade with the Chicago Bears for the first overall pick. With a quarterback-centric coaching staff, the Panthers will seemingly have their pick of the litter of the gunslingers in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft.
Right now, everyone is left to predict who the Carolina front office will draft, and who new head coach Frank Reich and quarterbacks coach Josh McCown (both former NFL QBs themselves) will want to mentor and mold moving forward.
There appears to be four leading candidates for the top overall pick in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, at this point, all of whom will certainly hear their name called early on draft night. There are rumors that the Panthers could even trade back, now that they are “in control”, and holding the top selection.
In this exercise they make the selection, and tab who they hope will be their quarterback of the future and a cornerstone of their franchise.
Further, we will detail some quick analysis for every single pick of the first three rounds in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, so don’t miss your team’s pick(s)!
1. CAR-C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
The Carolina Panthers make their pick, choosing Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud to top this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, and to lead their franchise for years to come. Stroud is my “QB1” in this class, and I think he will be for Reich and the crew in Carolina as well.
Here are the notable quarterbacks that Reich has coached throughout his NFL career: Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers (twice), Carson Wentz (twice), Nick Foles (twice) and Matt Ryan. Some think Reich will value a mobile quarterback, or one with a cannon for an arm and tons of upside. I think he is going to go with the guy that has the best blend of processing, arm talent and NFL size. That’s Stroud.
If anyone had any questions about Stroud’s arm compared to that of Anthony Richardson and Will Levis, he answered that at the Combine, displaying one of the most impressive throwing sessions that evaluators have seen. Stroud has the best blend of NFL-readiness and upside, and with Reich and McCown, I believe that he can truly become an elite NFL quarterback, and deserves to be atop this 2023 NFL Mock Draft.