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Carolina Panthers

2023 Mock Draft Report 4.0: Trading up to the first pick


CHARLOTTE – The Panthers have made some moves throughout the last 11 days.

Before staying busy in free agency, Carolina traded up with Chicago for the No. 1 overall pick in this year's NFL Draft. The move sets them up to make their selection from the draft's top quarterbacks.

A portion of the media predicted the Panthers to go with Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud, while ESPN's Todd McShay and CBS Sports' Chris Trapasso see them going in a different direction.

View a selection of the latest mock drafts below:
QB Bryce Young

Daniel Jeremiah: The Panthers will do their homework on this year's top quarterback prospects over the next month, but I believe Young is the best of the bunch and will emerge as their target. ($)
QB Bryce Young (via CHI)

Todd McShay: I'm sticking with Young at No. 1. He's not only the top quarterback on my board but also my top overall prospect. Young has elite pocket presence and poise, delivering strikes to every level of the field. And if the Panthers can figure out their receiver issues, I think this could be a really good fit with new coach Frank Reich. Carolina has to get this right after finishing 31st in the NFL in QBR (27.6) last season and then sacrificing all these assets to move up, and Young could be the answer.

CBS Sports
QB Anthony Richardson (via CHI)

Chris Trapasso: Andy Dalton acting as the bridge in Carolina to Anthony Richardson starting by November? Yessir.

QB C.J. Stroud (via CHI)
Ohio State

Trevor Sikkema: The Panthers will have their pick of the quarterbacks. Stroud seems to be trending toward the pick, as he is the premier pocket passer who fits what head coach Frank Reich gravitates toward.

QB C.J. Stroud (via CHI)
Ohio State

Ben Standig: Recency bias could be in play with the choice of Stroud over Bryce Young, as the two-time Big Ten offensive player of the year rocked the combine with a wildly impressive passing display. There are also ongoing questions over whether teams are cool taking the 5-foot-10 Young if they consider other quarterbacks equally viable. This decision won’t come down to height, but rather the size of the decision-makers’ collective comfort with this massive decision.

Draft Network
QB C.J. Stroud (via CHI)
Ohio State

Brentley Weissman: The Panthers made the big move of trading for the No. 1 pick in an attempt to finally secure a franchise quarterback for the first time under David Tepper. While rumor has it they have not decided on a specific player, signs are pointing to the team making C.J. Stroud the pick. Stroud is an accurate passer who will be a great distributor of the football and finally bring a level of stability to this team.

Here's a look at some of the top quarterbacks in this year's class, including Bryce Young, CJ Stroud, Anthony Richardson, and Will Levis.